Julie Gunnigle (D.), a George Soros-backed prosecutor whose radical pro-abortion stance made waves throughout the campaign, has lost the Maricopa County attorney's special election to Republican Rachel Mitchell.
Mitchell was winning by 4 points with 94 percent of ballots tabulated when Gunnigle conceded on Monday. The Democrat said the results prove "a continuation of the legacy of corruption within the Maricopa County Attorney's Office." Mitchell, a veteran prosecutor who has served as acting Maricopa County attorney since March, declared victory in a press release later that day.
"Public safety isn't partisan," she said. "All Arizonans demand safe communities in which to live, work, and raise their children."
Gunnigle took $6,550 from Way to Lead PAC, which received hundreds of thousands of dollars from Soros's Democracy PAC. During the campaign, she caught flak following a Washington Free Beacon report that she partnered with abortion clinics that sold fetal organs. Mitchell allies referred to the story in direct text messages to voters, prompting Gunnigle in a September tweet to dismiss the report as "disinformation."
The Democratic candidate promised voters that if elected she would not prosecute abortions under the 15-week abortion ban that Gov. Doug Ducey (R.) signed into law in March. She also pledged to form a special division within her office to prosecute police shootings and use of force while dismissing many low-level criminal offenses. Crime is up more than 40 percent over the past two years in Phoenix, Maricopa County's largest municipality.
Gunnigle also ran for county attorney in 2020, losing to Republican incumbent Allister Adel, who resigned in March. Gunnigle's campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
Mitchell is widely known for participating as an expert on sex crimes in the 2018 Senate confirmation hearings for Justice Brett Kavanaugh. She informed senators that "a reasonable prosecutor" would never have relied on Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's testimony against Kavanaugh.
Mitchell will serve two years before she is up for reelection to a full, four-year term in 2024.