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Allister Adel declares victory in Maricopa County Attorney race

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Posted at 3:22 PM, Nov 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-09 17:44:30-05

PHOENIX — Allister Adel is leading and has declared victory in the race for Maricopa County Attorney, making her the first woman elected to the position in history.

With 95% of precincts reporting, Adel had 51% of the vote to 49%.

RELATED: Track latest election results

The Allister Adel for Maricopa County Attorney campaign released a statement following the election:

“We are humbled and incredibly grateful to the voters of Maricopa County for electing Allister Adel as county attorney. Thank you to the many volunteers and supporters who spent countless days and hours sharing Allister's vision with voters. This was truly a team effort and we could not have done it without everyone involved.

We would also like to thank Julie Gunnigle for a hard-fought and spirited campaign. We appreciate Julie’s passion for Maricopa County and wish her the best in her future endeavors.

Now more than ever, we need strong and ethical leadership within our criminal justice system. Allister has focused on creating a culture driven by ethical excellence and making the right decisions for the right reasons each day, but there is more work to be done. We must remain vigilant to ensure each person is treated fairly and equally in our criminal justice system, and that we are holding criminals accountable.”

Julie Gunnigle released a statement on Twitter to announce she had conceded the race.

Adel was admitted to the hospital on Election Night, November 3, to undergo emergency surgery due to bleeding in her brain, a spokesperson told ABC15.

According to an MCAO spokesperson, Adel fell at home and hit her head and her condition worsened on Tuesday night.

She remains in serious but stable condition as of Friday afternoon and is reportedly "responding well to medical treatment," per a spokesperson.

The race to run the third-largest prosecutorial agency in the country grew tense in the closing weeks. Both candidates painted each other as party extremists.

Adel was appointed as county attorney in October 2019 after Bill Montgomery was selected to sit on the Arizona Supreme Court.

Maricopa County has long been known for its aggressive and harsh drug sentences and has been plagued by police violence, specifically officers shooting citizens at a much higher rate than most of the nation.

Adel and Gunnigle both ran on platforms of reform.

Below are links to key reports published and broadcast throughout the campaign:

County Attorney candidates promising reforms

Maricopa County Attorney candidates talk body cameras, police reform, and Breonna Taylor

Family, county attorney speak out after charging decision in Dion Johnson case

Does Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel understand 'Brady' lists?

How can Arizona better track problematic law enforcement officers?

MCAO to create Prosecution Integrity Unit to review post-conviction innocence claims

Adel and Gunnigle also recently participated in a debate with ABC15’s radio partner KTAR News and a candidate forum with the Maricopa County Bar Association.