Adrian has spent his whole career fighting for justice and democracy.
Public service is in Adrian’s DNA. Growing up in the border town of Nogales, he was surrounded by exemplary role models. Adrian’s Grandfather, Florentino ‘Tino’ Fontes, became a US Citizen after serving in WWII. And after taking on several jobs to help his own six children graduate from college, Tino Fontes became the Mayor of Nogales, AZ. Inspired by his grandfather’s service, Adrian enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, where he was on active duty from 1992 to 1996, earning a nomination for a meritorious commission.
Serving his country taught him the importance of dedication, discipline, and sacrifice to fight for the American dream. After being Honorably Discharged from the U.S. Marine Corps, Adrian returned to receive his Bachelor’s degree from ASU before continuing to the Sturm College of Law at the University of Denver.
Upon graduating from law school, Adrian spent his career advocating for justice and fighting for the vulnerable and disadvantaged; as a prosecutor in Colorado, Maricopa County, and the Arizona Attorney General’s office. While raising his family, Adrian advocated for people’s rights, which included serving on the Board of Planned Parenthood where he worked to advance pro-choice policies.
In 2016, after witnessing shameful voter suppression tactics, 6-hour lines at the polls, and Adrian decided to run for Maricopa County Recorder.
Adrian won, becoming the first Democrat to hold the Recorder’s office in 50 years and the first-ever Latino to hold an office in Arizona’s largest county.
As Recorder, Adrian revolutionized a broken, outdated, and unjust voting system by making elections more accessible and more secure than ever before. From day one, he immediately got to work professionalizing the operation and implementing a comprehensive plan in advance of Election Day: securing polling locations, recruiting and training poll workers, and educating voters on where, when, and how to vote.
Even amid the COVID-19 Pandemic and the violent insurrections at both the Maricopa Recorder’s office and at our Nation’s Capital, Adrian’s administration set up an elections infrastructure that led to record voter turnout in 2020. Adrian worked with political and community organizations across the political spectrum to increase registered voters by five hundred thousand people, making Maricopa County the second-largest voting jurisdiction in the country.
Arizona needs a Secretary of State like Adrian Fontes. At a time when anti-democratic forces are undermining the right to vote, fueling conspiracy theories, and undermining the public’s faith in our electoral process, administering elections fairly and competently at the state and local level is more critical than ever.