Meet the New County, Same as the Old County

By Ray Stern

Change came to Washington, D.C., tonight, but not to Maricopa County.

County Supervisors Don Stapley (pictured below left), Fulton Brock, Andy Kunasek, Max Wilson, and Mary Rose Wilcox all retained their seats without breaking a sweat. With 95 percent to 99 percent of precincts reporting, none of the opponents of the five supervisors even came close to winning. Meanwhile, Keith Russell will stay on as county assessor, and Helen Purcell will begin her sixth term as county recorder.

The most noticeable difference in the lineup will be the addition of Republican Don Covey as county school superintendent. Covey replaces longtime superintendent Sandra Dowling, who chose not to run again after being convicted of a misdemeanor for hiring a relative.

Combined with the wins of Sheriff Joe Arpaio and County Attorney Andrew Thomas, opponents of the county's status quo will be forced to deal with the same old faces for the next four years. With 97 percent of the county vote tallied by 11 p.m., Arpaio led over Democrat Dan Saban by a healthy margin of 56 percent to 42 percent of votes. Thomas beat Democrat Tim Nelson by about 52 percent to 44 percent of votes.

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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