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Republican Stephen Richer Takes Lead over Democrat Donor Adrian Fontes in Maricopa County Recorder Election

The Maricopa County Recorder counts votes in Arizona’s largest county.

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Republican Stephen Richer has taken the lead over incumbent Democrat Adrian Fontes in the election for Maricopa County Recorder, and it’s likely he’ll defeat Fontes in the race to become the primary elections official in one of the most contentious swing counties in the entire country.

Richer holds a slim 929,098 to 926,653 lead over Fontes, representing a difference of 2,445 votes. The remainder of ballots that are outstanding in Arizona’s election trend towards Republican-leaning election day ballots, making it more than likely Richer will secure the upset. There are a total of approximately 44,000 outstanding Maricopa County ballots.

Fontes is currently under intense political scrutiny for his job performance as Recorder. Neither Arizona or Maricopa County- which contains 60% of the state’s population- have fully reported vote totals for the critical swing state, and the results could conceivably break for either Joe Biden or Donald Trump.

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Big League Politics has reported upon Fontes’ track record of questionable practices, which includes cursing out critics of his performance as recorder. Maricopa County voters have accused Fontes of coordinating the location of “emergency voting centers” with Democrat Senate candidate Kyrsten Sinema, and one voter described seeing “pre-marked” ballots for Sinema in a sworn affidavit released by the Arizona Republican Party in 2018. Fontes has largely failed in his campaign promise to expedite the process of voting in election day polling centers, with long wait times occurring in the 2018 midterm.

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Richer has pledged to make elections in the Phoenix-area county “boring again,” accusing the Democrat elections boss of being an uncivil partisan.

States

Greg Abbott Blasts Joe Biden for “Neanderthal Thinking” Remark, Says Illegal Immigrants are Exposing People in South Texas to COVID

The Biden presidency is a hot mess.

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Texas governor Greg Abbott has blasted President Joe Biden for calling his lifting of statewide COVID-19 restrictions “Neanderthal thinking.”

Appearing on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” Thursday morning, Governor Abbott said that Biden’s “Neanderthal thinking” remark was “not the type of word that a president should be using.”

Abbott quickly added that Biden couldn’t have used that phrase “on a worse day” because of how he’s handling the illegal immigrants coming into Texas across the US-Mexico border—many of whom ostensibly have COVID and weren’t tested.

The day he used that word, his administration has been releasing in South Texas immigrants who came across the border that they refused to test that turned out—there were more than 100 of them who had COVID,” Abbott said. “My point is this: the Biden administration has been releasing immigrants in South Texas that have been exposing Texans to COVID. Some of those people have been put on buses, taking that COVID to other states in the United States. The Biden administration must stop importing COVID into our country. That is a Neanderthal type of approach to dealing with the COVID situation.”

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Governor Abbott then defended his decision to end Texas’ statewide mask mandate and allow all businesses to operate at 100 percent capacity beginning Wednesday, March 10.

These changes that we’ve seen in Texas are not really that transformative. Maybe to people in New York it seems like this is a big difference. In Texas we went from 75 percent to 100 percent occupancy. On the mask requirement, before now there actually has not been any enforcement of the mask requirement […] We continue to make wearing a mask a suggestion and we urge all Texans to wear a mask when they’re out.”

Abbott added that Texas’ last spike occurred during Christmas and New Year’s, meaning that the increased transmission occurred because of widespread travel and indoor gatherings where people weren’t wearing masks, not because of restaurants and gyms and other businesses.

On Tuesday Mississippi governor Tate Reeves followed Texas’ lead and lifted their mask mandate and other statewide COVID-19 restrictions as well.

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