Maricopa County Craziness

Don Stapley Withdraws Name from Congressional Race; Longtime Maricopa County Supervisor Will Pursue Other Options When Term Ends

Maricopa County Supervisor Don Stapley announced today that he won't be running for Congress, after all.

Stapley, who has seen his share of ups and downs in his 15-year run on the five-member Board of Supervisors, filed paperwork last month to run for Arizona's newly created Ninth Congressional District.

The East Valley Republican was among several hopefuls who had tossed their hats in the race -- and clearly one of the most controversial.

Stapley successfully beat two attempts by former County Attorney Andrew Thomas and Sheriff Joe Arpaio to prosecute him on charges related to alleged fraud and failing to truthfully fill out financial disclosure forms.

But the battles left Stapley's reputation sullied and his bank accounts drained. He's in the process of suing the county for $15 million for alleged malicious prosecution.

In a written news release, Stapley says he's received a lot of support for his Congressional bid, but came to the conclusion that it wasn't the right choice. He's not running for re-election again, either:

"Barely two weeks into this race, we have been gratified by the significant support and encouragement of so many people; I have learned in my life to follow certain promptings and feelings. Recently, I have felt that the decision I made to pursue a political campaign for Congressional District 9 was not the right decision. After nearly 18 years in public service on the Board of Supervisors, I can proudly point to the accomplishments of many and to the record of my service. I plan on finishing my present term. At the end of the year, I will pursue other conduits of service. I extend sincere thanks to all my friends, who, over the years, have expressed unwavering support and loyalty. I am truly grateful."

Depending on how that lawsuit goes, he may enjoy a relatively comfortable retirement.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.
Contact: Ray Stern