Maricopa County Democratic Party Chair Ann Wallack will not be running for re-election this year when county Dems meet on Saturday, December 8 to elect new officers.
Wallack, who has served as MCDP chair for four years, said she had been thinking about stepping aside for a while. But it sounds like Democrat Paul Penzone's loss to Joe Arpaio in the sheriff's race may have been the deciding factor.
"Obviously, if I had elected a new sheriff, I would be the happiest woman on earth, and I'd want to stay on," she explained.
"I felt like we had a great candidate," she continued. "And I did just about everything I could, but we ran out of time and money."
Penzone was recruited by Wallack to run, and Wallack made the sheriff's race her priority in this election.
She took some heat for backing Penzone in the Democratic primary over fired Goodyear Police Department flack John Rowan, but despite the gripes of some, there is nothing in the MCDP bylaws requiring a chair to be neutral in a primary.
As I noted in my election wrap-up, Penzone would have fared better in the general if he had not had a primary challenger, and if Republican-turned-Independent stooge Mike Stauffer had not been on the general election ballot.
Still, it was Arpaio's closest shave to date, with the sheriff securing victory with a mere 50.7 percent of the vote, 1.4 points ahead of the combined totals for both Penzone and Stauffer.
"The third party candidate hurt us, definitely," Wallack said. "The negative campaign commercials on Penzone and [U.S. Senate candidate Rich] Carmona both hurt us. If someone has money to do polls to find out why people voted the way they did in those two races, it would be very interesting to see what factored in to their decision."