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Democrat Julie Gunnigle Concedes Maricopa County Attorney Race

November 14, 2022

By Corinne Murdock |

On Monday, the Democratic candidate in the Maricopa County Attorney’s race, Julie Gunnigle, conceded. 

Gunnigle’s opponent, incumbent Republican Rachel Mitchell, earned 52 percent of the vote to Gunnigle’s 48 percent. In a statement, Gunnigle said that Maricopa County deserved better than Mitchell.

“This isn’t the result we were hoping for because what it means is a continuation of the legacy of corruption within the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office,” wrote Gunnigle. “The change we need won’t happen this year, but we aren’t deterred. We vow to keep our eye on this office and, along with the community, continue to demand better for all of Maricopa County.”

Mitchell’s victory statement focused on thanking the voters and the staff of her office.

“Public safety isn’t partisan. All Arizonans demand safe communities in which to live, work, and raise their children,” stated Mitchell. “I will continue working with law enforcement and community leaders to hold criminals accountable, increase the use of treatment to rehabilitate where appropriate, deliver justice for victims, and put the safety of Maricopa County residents first.”

National attention was fixed on the race, mainly for the fact that the county is the fourth-largest in the nation and had the potential to be led by another George Soros-backed prosecutor.

As AZ Free News reported in August, Gunnigle received over $6,500 from Way to Lead Arizona — a political action committee (PAC) funded primarily by its national counterpart, Way to Lead PAC. That PAC received millions from Soros, his family, or the organizations he’s either founded or funded. Gunnigle denied benefiting from Soros funding in May.

This marks Gunnigle’s third campaign loss: she lost in the 2020 general election for Maricopa County Attorney and lost in the 2018 general election for the State House. Gunnigle first began running for office as her former employer, Arizona Summit Law School, faced accreditation troubles. 

Although Gunnigle no longer serves as the shuttered law school’s Dean of Students, she continues to receive support from them.

Gunnigle received thousands in funding from an attorney for Arizona Summit Law School. The donor, Donalyn Mikles, listed her employment as the law school’s attorney. Mikles was one of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs’ top ten donors, after Jennifer Allan-Soros and Planned Parenthood. In all, Mikles has donated over $476,000 to Democratic candidates and political organizations in Arizona and $450,000 to Democratic candidates nationwide

Gunnigle’s loss comes after indications that Democrats appeared to be distancing themselves from her. As AZ Free News reported earlier this month, former minority leader for the state legislature and Democratic consultant Chad Campbell said that Gunnigle’s campaign resembled that of failed 2018 gubernatorial candidate David Garcia. Campbell called Garcia’s campaign the “worst campaign” to have occurred over the last 30 years. 

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

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