CASA GRANDE — An effort to force a recall election of Rep. Mark Finchem, R-Oro Valley, officially fell short this week due to lack of signatures.

The organization responsible for the recall effort, Rural Arizonans for Accountability, announced that they were ending the campaign against Finchem, who represents Arizona’s Legislative District 11, which includes Maricopa, Arizona City, Picacho, Saddlebrooke, Oracle and parts of Casa Grande and Eloy in Pinal County.

Despite falling short, the organization said in a statement that they were proud of what they accomplished.

“For too long, Finchem’s extremism went unanswered and in many cases, unnoticed,” the statement said. “That is not the case anymore. While this phase of our effort to hold Finchem accountable is coming to an end, we aren’t going away anytime soon.”

The recall effort began four months ago over Finchem’s involvement in voter fraud conspiracies and connections to the “Stop the Steal” movement, which was involved in the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Finchem, for his part, denied accusations and is now threatening legal action, claiming that the effort was spurred on by “Bolsheviks in Tempe” coming into Pinal County.

“They defamed me,” Finchem said. “You don’t call a man a traitor who is serving his country. I’m coming after them, they can be assured of that.”

Finchem said he would also be filing an ethics complaint with the Arizona bar against lawyers who were involved in the recall effort.

While Finchem has contested the accusations made against him regarding Jan. 6, he remains a major supporter of the election audit effort in Maricopa County and told a QAnon talk show last month that he hoped the audit would lead to Arizona’s electoral votes going to Trump.

In March, Finchem proposed to the state House adopting holographic validation technology on ballots. He also declared his candidacy for secretary of state, the office that oversees Arizona’s elections.

Finchem said that 2022 would see a “massive sea change” in representation and that Democrats were subverting the election process.

For now, Finchem said he was busy working on budget issues and assistance for fighting forest fires that have ravaged the eastern portion of Pinal County and Gila County this month.

Finchem blamed the federal government for mismanagement of the land and for “clowns running around talking about global warming” in the Forest Service.

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Aaron Dorman is the Casa Grande reporter at PinalCentral, covering government, schools, business and more. He can be reached at adorman@pinalcentral.com.