One of the most hardcore conspiracy theorists and election deniers on the ballot this November thanked Elon Musk for “fixing” his Twitter ban just hours after the tech billionaire promised he was “looking into” it Monday.
Mark Finchem, the GOP candidate for Arizona’s Secretary of State, wrote on his Facebook page on Monday afternoon that Twitter had blocked his account “from speaking the truth with one week left until the election.” “Tag Elon Musk and tell him to unban me right now,” Finchem added in the post, which included a link to his campaign donation page. “What tweet got me in trouble?” Finchem wrote in a later post. “Probably the one that made Obama mad when I told people to boo him at his AZ rally. Assuming he called some of his commie holdovers at Twitter HQ to mess with me.”
Finchem’s call for aid was picked up by Newsmax contributor and former Trump adviser Jenna Ellis. Sharing a screenshot of an email apparently sent by Finchem about his Twitter ban, Ellis tagged Musk in a tweet saying, “This shouldn’t happen a week before the election!” Around an hour later, Musk—who completed his $44 billion takeover of Twitter last Friday—replied, “Looking into it.”
Finchem’s account appeared to be restored within an hour. “We are back!” he tweeted. “Thank you Elon Musk for stopping the commie who suspended me a week before the election. Twitter is much better with you at the helm.”
It’s not clear why Finchem’s account was locked in the first place.
The Republican candidate, who has vociferously denied the result of the 2020 presidential election, has become well-known for his wild and unsubstantiated support for conspiracy theories—even more than most MAGA Republicans. He is also poised to have incredible influence over elections in a key swing state that helped deliver the White House to Joe Biden two years ago.
Just days before winning his primary race in August, Finchem was recorded asserting that former Vice President Mike Pence had staged a “coup” to topple Donald Trump. He also accused Pence of plotting to “steal” the presidency in 2024.
He has also identified himself as a member of the Oath Keepers in the past, and has vowed that if he loses his race this month, there “ain’t gonna be no concession speech coming from this guy.”
News of Finchem’s account being restored came amid growing anxieties about the future of Twitter under Musk’s leadership. The Tesla boss, who has updated his Twitter bio to read “Twitter Complaint Hotline Operator,” last week said the platform must not become a “free-for-all hellscape.” But within days, he’d used the site to amplify a baseless conspiracy theory about the hammer attack on Nancy Pelosi’s husband. The assault, which Speaker Pelosi said left her family “heartbroken and traumatized,” was allegedly carried out by a man who promoted QAnon hokum and other conspiracy theories online.