Republican Rachel Mitchell explains new approach to crime after winning Maricopa County Attorney race

Democrat Julie Gunnigle conceded to Republican Rachel Mitchell in the Maricopa County Attorney race. Mitchell had a 4-point lead over Gunnigle.
Published: Nov. 14, 2022 at 5:55 PM MST|Updated: Nov. 14, 2022 at 8:42 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - This morning, Democrat Julie Gunnigle conceded to Republican incumbent Rachel Mitchell in the Maricopa County attorney race. Mitchell had a 4-point lead over Gunnigle, with 68,000 votes still left to count.

While Mitchell is thrilled, she says it’s time to get to work. “I don’t really see the county attorney’s office as partisan. I am here to serve all of the public in Maricopa County,” said Mitchell. “I didn’t see this as a Republican versus a Democrat. This race was really theories of prosecution. This is a prosecutor versus, frankly, a social activist. And people want to live in safe communities.”

Mitchell has served as a prosecutor for thirty years. She served as the interim county attorney for the past seven months after her predecessor, Allister Adel, resigned in March 2022. “I had many many Democrats coming up to me and saying ‘I voted for you’ I don’t find myself in uncommon waters working with folks across the aisle so to speak,” Mitchell said.

She says she’s thrilled she won but not surprised. “I think people saw this race for what it was. It was a race that concerned public safety. I think people have seen what is going on across the country. In other counties and cities like Chicago or Philadelphia, or New York and they don’t want that here,” she said.

But with hot-button topics, like abortion, on people’s minds, she wants to be clear. “I will not even attempt to prosecute women who get an abortion. I certainly am not going to re-victimize victims of molest or rape or incest,” she explained.

Now Mitchell says she can continue her goals, lower the county’s crime rate and drug use but not over-crowd jails. “I want to continue expanding our diversion program. I would like it so that we can get people into diversion more quickly after they are arrested or charges are submitted for drugs, so that they can get the treatment they need faster,” she said.

Mitchell says her approach to crime is no longer “tough on crime” but “appropriate on crime.” She’s saying that all violent criminals will be held accountable.