When a Goodyear voter complained on Facebook that his Nov. 7 ballot was confusing, Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes insulted him, attacked the voter’s mother and told him to “go F- yourself.” The social-media tirade comes as Fontes, the only Democrat to run Maricopa County elections in recorded history, is under a microscope. He beat a longtime GOP elections chief in 2016 with promises of better representation and communication with voters and has faced suspicion from Republican officials and voters. Tuesday’s local election is a litmus test for Fontes. Fontes responded angrily to the Goodyear voter, Nathan Schneider, who complained that the election date was hard for him and his mother to find on the mail-in ballot and ballot inserts, and was not printed on the envelope. “The public should not be forced to make assumptions when voting,” Schneider, a Democratic candidate for Arizona Legislature, posted on Facebook. “Adrian Fontes doesn’t listen to me, but if any of you have his ear, maybe you could ask him why they are not labeling the Election Day on the ballot and making it more legible, easier to find, and easier to identify.” Fontes responded by asking if Schneider’s mother ran his campaign and writing “go F- yourself.”
“(M)y response is not only appropriate but deserved,” Fontes added. “(I)t’s less important that I am elected than the work of my staff is defended with vigor. … His little passive-aggressive assault against my staff and the work they do deserves no less.”
On Tuesday, Fontes released a written statement about the incident.
“I could have responded differently and now I would like to move on,” he said. “The most important thing is to remain focused on running these elections and ensuring voters are participating in their democracy.”