In 2021, Adrian Fontes launched his bid for Arizona Secretary of State. Our team spent 13 months working to ensure Fontes was victorious in November 2022.
The race for Arizona Secretary of State was very high profile and hotly contested. Certified elections administrator, former prosecutor, and former Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes was up against far-right election denier and Oath Keeper Mark Finchem. A lot was on the line: with mail-in balloting as one of the top issues, the very future of democracy in Arizona was at stake. It was critically important for Adrian to build awareness about who he was and what he represented.
What We Did
Adrian partnered with Matters of State Strategies to develop campaign messaging that would highlight the main issues of his platform: protecting voting by mail, opposing extremism in politics, debunking The Big Lie, and fighting for democracy. The approach was deliberately centrist—targeting moderate Republicans and Independents in an effort to sway this large segment. That’s because, in Arizona, statewide Democratic candidates begin general elections at a significant voter registration disadvantage. Polling and survey data told us that in order to prevail, Fontes needed to gain at least 10% of likely Republican voters, and carry north of 35% of likely Independent voters while holding his Democratic base.
That same data also indicated that in order to garner support from Independents and Republicans, a message focused on patriotism, constitutional norms, and integrity would be key. Matters of State Strategies developed primary campaign messaging that touted Adrian’s experience, pragmatism, honorable military career, and role as a proud father—then created a second, offshoot campaign that outlined Finchem’s anti-democratic rhetoric to drive home the point that he was dangerous for Arizona. Additionally, we used direct-to-camera testimonials from prominent conservative leaders in Arizona such as Former Maricopa County Recorder Rick Romley and former United States Attorney for Arizona Paul Charlton, who endorsed Adrian Fontes over his Republican opponent.
The efforts were extremely detailed and far-reaching, including elements such as television and radio ads, YouTube videos, Programmatic video, display, and native ads, sponsored social media posts, Google search ads, and more. To support these campaigns, Matters of State Strategies put together a digital media recommendation to complement the planned television (English & Spanish), radio (English & Spanish), and out-of-home buys.
- Event release
- Long-lead media
- Event calendars
- Media relations
- Press managemen
On November 8, 2022, Adrian Fontes won the race for Arizona Secretary of State and assumed office on January 2, 2023. Fontes was the highest vote-getter in Maricopa County and was the second highest-performing candidate statewide behind Senator Mark Kelly.
The centrist marketing approach proved highly successful: garnering more than 12% crossover of Republican votes and more than 40% of Independents. Ad testing showed a 4-point positive jump in support for Fontes among right-leaning Independents and a two-point positive gain for center-right Republicans who were previously ambivalent or unsupportive of Fontes.
Across the board, the marketing efforts that resulted in his victory were a monumental success:
OVERALL TV IMPRESSIONS
OVERALL RADIO IMPRESSIONS
TOTAL DIRECT MAIL PIECES
TEXT MESSAGES SENT WITH PERSUASION/GOTV
TOTAL NUMBER OF VOTES FOR ADRIAN WON BY 120,208
POINTS MARGIN OF VICTORY 52% VS. 47%
TOTAL SESSIONS TO THE WEBSITE
TOTAL CAMPAIGN IMPRESSIONS ON FACEBOOK
TOTAL CLICKS ON FACEBOOK
IMPRESSIONS ON PAID SEARCH
TOTAL CLICKS ON PAID SEARCH
TOTAL IMPRESSIONS ON YOUTUBE
VIEW-THROUGH-RATE ON YOUTUBE