By Corinne Murdock |
Congressional candidate Kirsten Engel took a picture with failed Soros-backed district attorney candidate Julie Gunnigle about two weeks before her campaign launch.
The pair were attending the 18th International State of the State hosted by the Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations (PCFR). Gunnigle ran on a campaign of major police defunding, a concept which Engel supported vocally following the 2020 BLM riots. Her police defunding proposals were echoed by her controversial campaign manager as well.
“What we need to do is shift where the money [for police] is going,” stated Engel.
Engel also encouraged her supporters to donate to the controversial Minnesota Freedom Fund, which earned national media attention for its practice of bailing out violent criminals. She also encouraged donations for Showing Up For Racial Justice, a group that published a toolkit on how communities could defund their local police.
Those past actions from Engel aligned with Gunnigle’s platform last year. Engel then spent time with Gunnigle on the campaign trail last year, despite Democratic leadership and advisors advising that candidates distance themselves from Gunnigle.
Gunnigle pledged to expunge marijuana-related criminal records; decriminalize hard drugs like heroin, crack, and meth; reduce incarceration rates; end cash bail; oppose the death penalty; fight elongated sentences for gang and weapons-related charges; establish mental health response services; and refuse prosecution for abortion offenses.
Gunnigle also campaigned alongside two public figures that mocked Blue Alerts: safety communications for countering law enforcement murders. The individuals were Chris Love, Planned Parenthood of Arizona board member, and Brianna Westbrook, Arizona Democratic Party vice chair.
National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) spokesman Ben Petersen said in a statement that Engel’s decision to keep company with Gunnigle was “terrifying,” adding that it revealed a disregard for public safety.
“Voters defeated Kirsten Engel and Julie Gunnigle’s extremely dangerous agenda of defunding the police and releasing violent criminals just five months ago, yet Engel is still palling around with Gunnigle,” said Petersen.
Democrats began distancing themselves from Gunnigle as Election Day neared. Attorney General Kris Mayes told voters during campaign debate last year that she disagreed with some of Gunnigle’s positions and wouldn’t endorse her. That marked a complete flip from two years ago, when Mayes endorsed Gunnigle’s first run for Maricopa County attorney.
Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone, a Democrat, said at the time that Gunnigle’s platform concerned him.