Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell declared her victory Monday in the race to retain her title in the 2022 general election.
“As a lifelong Arizonan who has dedicated my career to the safety of our neighborhoods and families, I am deeply honored this community has overwhelmingly shown its support and trust in my leadership of the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office,” Mitchell tweeted. “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.”
Thank you, Maricopa County!
As a lifelong Arizonan who has dedicated my career to the safety of our neighborhoods and families, I am deeply honored this community has overwhelmingly shown its support and trust in my leadership of the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office. 1/
— County Attorney Rachel Mitchell (@Rachel1Mitchell) November 14, 2022
This declaration from Mitchell has come before any media outlets, such as the Associated Press, have called the race. However, Bobby Charette with Mitchell’s campaign denied that the self-declaration of victory is an issue. He told The Arizona Sun Times this is a down-ticket race that big media outlets will likely not call, so their failure to do so thus far should not be a discouragement.
Beyond this, Charette said the votes speak for themselves at this point. Mitchell is currently ahead of her Democrat opponent, Julie Gunnigle, by 68,000 votes. Data Guru Garrett Archer, with ABC15, reported that roughly 94,000 ballots remain uncounted in Maricopa County as of Monday. Charette said Gunnigle would need to secure two-thirds of the remaining vote to make a comeback, and Mitchell’s campaign felt “very confident” that would not happen and that the remaining ballots will only solidify Mitchell’s lead.
Mitchell took the position of Maricopa county attorney following the resignation and later death of previous attorney Allister Adel. Mitchell, who had previously served in the county attorney’s office for 30 years, won the position in a unanimous vote by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors.
As reported by The Sun Times, the Arizona Republican Party took issue with Gunnigle and her campaign staff for having anti-police views.
Mitchell’s apparent victory followed the Sunday night ballot drop from Maricopa County, which added 98,618 ballots to the total, bringing the count to an estimated 94 percent completion.
Archer predicted that Sunday’s drop would bring positive results for Republicans still in tight races, and that prediction came true to a degree. Aside from Mitchell, Representative David Schweikert (R-AZ-06) has taken the lead for re-election in District 1, which he was behind in previously. After he pulled ahead by 900 votes, Decision Desk HQ officially projected him as the winner.
Decision Desk HQ projects Rep. David Schweikert (R) wins re-election to the U.S. House in Arizona's 1st Congressional District.#DecisionMade: 10:01pm EST
— Decision Desk HQ (@DecisionDeskHQ) November 14, 2022
However, Republican gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake is currently 25,000 votes behind opponent Katie Hobbs with 93 percent of Arizona’s votes counted. Lake was the winner of last night’s drop, receiving 54.6 percent in her favor, a gain of nearly 9,000 votes over Hobbs. Yet, according to Archer, those votes mostly came from historically red areas.
Following the results, Hobbs’ campaign released a statement of victory, alleging Lake will not get enough votes in the coming batches to take the lead. However, despite Hobbs’ victory announcement, the Associated Press has yet to call the race.
AZ Family reported that there are still enough votes left in the state that Hobbs’ lead is not insurmountable, but Lake would need roughly 57 percent of the remaining votes to pull it off.
Voters can check their ballot status here.
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Neil Jones is a reporter for The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Neil on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Rachel Mitchell” by Rachel Mitchell for Maricopa County Attorney. Background Photo “Arizona Capitol” by Pima County Public Library.