HomeDemocracyHusband of Arizona GOP ‘election integrity’ candidate was accused of election fraud

Husband of Arizona GOP ‘election integrity’ candidate was accused of election fraud

Emily Singer

Maria Syms removed ‘election integrity’ from her website, but continues to support prominent election deniers

A Republican state House candidate in Arizona — whose husband committed election fraud — is campaigning on a platform of restoring “election integrity.”

Maria Syms, a former state representative waging a comeback bid in Arizona’s 4th legislative district, included “election integrity” as one of her top campaign issues — until recently.

“The right to vote in free and fair elections is the most fundamental right we have to preserve our freedom,” Syms wrote on her campaign website ahead of the Aug. 2 primary. “It is time for the fraud and hypocrisy to end by requiring valid identification for every voter.”

Syms is married to Mark Syms, who was kicked off the ballot in a 2018 bid for Arizona state Senate after he submitted nearly 1,000 forged ballot petition signatures.

After she won a primary for her state House bid, Syms removed “election integrity” from her issues page — which now focuses on border security, crime, education, and government spending.

Even though it isn’t on her website anymore, Syms maintains her close ties to prominent election deniers, both in Arizona and nationally.

She hosted a fundraiser for GOP gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake’s campaign in September. Lake is one of the a prominent purveyor of lies surrounding the 2020 election, and she has made her crusade to overturn the results the focal point of her campaign.

Syms also posted photos from a 2020 Donald Trump event with MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, who is being sued for $1.3 billion over his lies about voter fraud.

“Here are some LD28 residents who are happy Trump is visiting their district today. My Pillow guy is a very close second!” Syms wrote along with the photos.

Syms donated to Jim Lamon’s failed GOP Senate primary campaign. Lamon was a member of the slate of fake electors Arizona Republicans submitted as part of the plot to block certification of President Joe Biden’s victory.

And, she is campaigning jointly with the two other GOP nominees in her legislative district — Vera Gebran and Nancy Barto — who also promote election conspiracy theories.

Barto signed a “joint resolution”  demanding the 2020 election results be overturned, and Gebran has spread false conspiracy theories that dead people voted in the election and the results were fraudulent because voting machines were connected to the internet.

Syms is running for state House in Arizona’s 4th legislative district, located in Maricopa County — the county that has helped shift Arizona into a swing state. In the redistricting process, the district became friendlier to Republicans; the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission reported that the Democratic gubernatorial nominee in 2018 won just 42.5% of the vote in the district.

Syms went on to win a crowded GOP primary in August, putting her one step closer to returning to the state legislature. In 2018, voters booted Syms from office after just one term, electing Democrat Aaron Lieberman instead.

Democrats, for their part, are seeking to win control of the Arizona House and Senate, where Republicans currently hold narrow majorities. Republicans currently control the state House, with 31 members to Democrats’ 28 members.

With control of the legislature and the governorship, Republicans have passed voter suppression legislation, carried out a baseless audit of the 2020 election, and passed a statewide abortion ban after 15 weeks gestation. If Democrats wrest control from the GOP, they would be in a position to undo some of that legislation.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.