Gunnigle: Brewer wrong about what county needs

Posted 10/28/20

Following her continuous string of nationally embarrassing comments, former Gov. Jan Brewer has decided to weigh in on the Maricopa County Attorney’s race — I wear her non-endorsement as a badge of pride.

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Gunnigle: Brewer wrong about what county needs


Following her continuous string of nationally embarrassing comments, former Gov. Jan Brewer has decided to weigh in on the Maricopa County Attorney’s race — I wear her non-endorsement as a badge of pride.

From signing Senate Bill 1070 into law in 2010 to her more recent interview defending white nationalists at Charlottesville, Brewer has a decades-long track record of getting it wrong. The people who end up picking up the bill for her actions are hardworking, taxpaying Arizonans.

If Brewer truly cared about the future of our state, she would retire her hateful rhetoric and go quietly into the night.

My opponent, Allister Adel, is cut from the same cloth. Earlier this year she used the County Attorney’s office to support HCR 2036 — an SB1070 copycat bill that was shut down by the business community for being too extreme. She was the general counsel of the Department of Child Safety under Brewer during one of its most corrupt and inept times, leading to the abuse and neglect of over 16,000 children.

Adel does not have one attorney of color on her executive leadership team, sending a clear message to the community that she does not care about racial disparities in our criminal justice system.

Both Adel and Brewer do not share our values as Arizonans. Their political stunts not only diminish the reputation of our state, but they cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in lawsuits and lost revenue.

Brewer and Adel repeatedly demonstrate they value empty rhetoric and political theater over working hard and serving the people of Arizona. Their “us vs. them” political mentality and continued xenophobia against the Latino community embody everything that is wrong with politics in our state.

They have a common thread tying them together — they are bad for Arizona.

Brewer levies a number of unfounded accusations in her op-ed including police funding. Let’s give our former governor and our unelected County Attorney a civics lesson — the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office does not determine law enforcement funding. Adel’s inability to comprehend this basic fact after being in office for 13 months sends a strong message of incompetence to Arizonans.

I have been clear that I want to transform the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office into an institution that is tough, smart and fair: Tough on crimes that target the most vulnerable in our community like women and children; Smart with reforms to save taxpayers $250 million a year and make our county safer; Fair with sentencing reforms, so the punishment fits the crime and we are not using incarceration to solve issues like mental illness and substance abuse disorder.

There is a clear difference in this race — if you value a leader serving as the Maricopa County Attorney focused on keeping our community safe and saving us money, I would be honored to have your support this election.

If you want to continue to relitigate the failures of Gov. Brewer’s past, vote for my opponent.

Julie Gunnigle is the Democratic nominee for Maricopa County Attorney. She is a former prosecutor, professor, and non-profit executive. Learn more at