Helen Purcell's challenger: 'I won't ask for recount'

Posted at 7:19 PM, Sep 05, 2016

Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell pulls out a squeaker, barely hanging onto her job of 28 years through the primary.

Aaron Flannery says he won't challenge the vote count from last Tuesday's election. He was beating Purcell in early returns, but Purcell edged him out by 185 votes when all 300,000 ballots were finally counted on Saturday morning.

Flannery tells ABC15 he won't ask for a recount. He says he doesn't have the resources to amass the challenge and says he can't prove there's a good reason to doubt the totals. He watched some of the counting in person at the elections office and some through an online streaming video.

Purcell, a Republican, who had been one of the county's most trusted politicians, made a disastrous choice to drastically reduce polling places for the March presidential preference election. Voters encountered waits of up to five hours, and some people complained they weren't able to vote at all.

Flannery believes Purcell has learned her lesson.  

"If you win by a very narrow margin, you might want to correct some things, and I think she has taken that message to heart," Flannery said. "I think she has had two very clean elections since what happened in March."

Purcell faces  Democratic challenger, Adrian Fontes, in the November election. Flannery says he'll run again in 2020.