Leading Republican Arizona secretary of state candidate Mark Finchem has frequently asked for campaign help from Gab, the far-right social media platform that’s a haven for white nationalists and antisemites. Finchem has solicited donations from Gab users at least 25 times; requested that users sign his nominating petition; and implored them to go to the polls today and vote for him.
Finchem is an Arizona state representative, Oath Keeper militia member, and January 6 insurrectionist who is running in the state’s August 2 Republican primary. He’s been endorsed by former President Donald Trump and “has charged ahead in the lone series of public polling from OH Predictive Insights.” Finchem is a frequent guest on election-denying outlets like Steve Bannon’s program and One America News.
Gab caters to far-right extremists, including people who have been banned from other social media platforms. Many of its users are antisemites, neo-Nazis, and white nationalists. They also post calls for violence against Jewish people. In 2018, a Gab user posted antisemitic and violent remarks on the site before he allegedly killed 11 people in Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue.
Gab’s CEO is Andrew Torba, a virulent antisemite who has reposted attacks from other Gab users claiming that Jewish people are “subversive”; in control of the government, media, and financial institutions; and responsible for “white genocide.” He’s also reposted praise of Gab for offering “differing opinions” on the Holocaust.
Torba says that he supports a political movement in which non-Christians, including Jewish people, aren’t allowed. He said on July 22: “We don't want people who are Jewish.” He also said that “we're not bending the knee to the 2% anymore” and won’t be “told what we're allowed to do in our own country by a 2% minority.” Torba’s connections to Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano have incited heavy criticism.
Finchem is a fan of Gab and its antisemitic CEO. On July 26, Torba “fully” endorsed six Republican candidates in Arizona: Kari Lake (governor), Finchem, Blake Masters (U.S. Senate), Andy Biggs (U.S. Congress), Paul Gosar (U.S. Congress), and Wendy Rogers (state Senate). (Lake and Masters rejected Torba’s endorsement.) Finchem responded on social media, including Gab, by saying that he was “honored” to have the endorsement. He also features Torba’s backing on his campaign website.
Finchem has a Gab Pro account, which requires a paid subscription. He has posted more than 1,480 times and uses the account to solicit support from Gab’s users. In recent days, Finchem has repeatedly written get-out-the-vote calls regarding today’s primary election.
He has also posted requests for donations on the platform at least 25 times since August 2021, according to a Media Matters review. Here are several examples of those asks:
*This article has been updated with additional information.