By Rebekah L. Sanders | The Republic
Adrian Fontes, an attorney and political newcomer, has staged a major upset by unseating veteran Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell, becoming the first Democrat elected to the office in at least 50 years.
The race was tight to the end, with ballot-counting continuing through last weekend and all day Monday. With roughly 100,000 early and provisional ballots remaining to be tallied late Monday, The Arizona Republic called the race for Fontes, who led by 13,000 votes — roughly 50.5 percent to Purcell’s 49.5 percent. The Republic has projected that Purcell cannot make up the difference.
Fontes timed his campaign expertly. He announced his candidacy the day after Purcell’s office fumbled the March presidential-preference election. Her plan to cut polling places backfired, leaving thousands of enraged voters standing in line, some past midnight, to cast their ballots.