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GOP candidate running for Maricopa County Attorney avoids 2020 election questions

One of the top GOP candidates for Maricopa County attorney wouldn't say on Monday if she thinks the 2020 election was stolen.
Published: Mar. 28, 2022 at 6:31 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- On Monday, one of the top Republican candidates running for Maricopa County Attorney avoided saying if she thinks the 2020 election was stolen.

“I am somebody who wants to read the facts, and I’ve always been a fair advocate for justice, so it’s not proper for me to sit there when I haven’t read all the details and the facts to give an opinion one way or the other,” Gina Godbehere told Arizona’s Family on Monday.

Godbehere, a former prosecutor with the county attorney’s office leads all five Republicans seeking to collect the nearly 4,800 signatures needed to qualify for the August primary election. As of Monday afternoon, Godbehere had collected nearly 4,000 signatures, with longtime prosecutor Rachel Mitchell placing second with 2,321 and Anni Foster, Gov. Ducey’s pick for the job, was third with 1,667, according to the county.

Two other Republicans, James Austin Woods, Stephen Walker, and Libertarian candidate Michael Kielsky look to be longshots to make the ballot. But it’s hard to say since the numbers provided by the county only reflect signatures collected online and not those collected in person.

Julie Gunnigle, the only Democrat running, appears to have already qualified for the ballot, collecting the nearly 4,300 signatures needed for Democratic candidates within 24 hours following Allister Adel’s resignation.

In an update from the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office on Monday evening, Gunnigle and Godbehere had collected the most signatures for their respective parties. The latest signature numbers are below:

  • Julie Gunnigle (D) - 4289
  • Anni Foster (R) - 1677
  • Gina Godbehere (R) - 3948
  • James Austin Woods (R) - 95
  • Stephen Walker (R) - 342
  • Rachel Mitchell (R) - 2321
  • Michael Kielsky (LBT) - 63

Whoever wins will legally represent the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, who have rejected all debunked claims that the 2020 election was rigged or stolen from President Donald Trump.

It’s been more than a year since Maricopa County became ground zero for conspiracy theories that falsely claimed President Joe Biden won because of rampant election fraud. Despite numerous audits, including a partisan election review, that found no proof of wrongdoing, Trump and Republicans in the Arizona legislature continue to push the debunked accusations.