Maricopa County Attorney debate: Allister Adel and challenger Julie Gunnigle

In a debate hosted by Arizona PBS, The Arizona Republic, and KJZZ, Allister Adel and Julie Gunnigle discussed the issues and explained their positions. The office handles all felony prosecutions and misdemeanor filings in the county’s court system.

Joining Ted Simons as moderators were Richard Ruelas of The Arizona Republic, and Steve Goldstein of KJZZ.


Republican incumbent Allister Adel has previously provided legal services for state agencies and started her career at the county attorney’s office.

Democratic challenger Julie Gunnigle is an attorney who is a former law professor and prosecutor.

Topics for the debate included:

  • Body cameras
  • Looking at indictment practices, prosecution, and sentencing
  • Racial discrimination 
  • Roe v. Wade, Prop. 207
  • Enforcement of law versus personal belief

Opening Statements

Adel:  “I went to law school to be a prosecutor, to protect Maricopa County and its vulnerable, as your Maricopa County Attorney, I have a record of accomplishments about holding criminals accountable, getting treatment for those who want it, and keeping children and families safe. These are smart justice reforms that ensure the most dangerous are held accountable, while those who want to do better and be better get the services they need. Over the next hour, you’re going to see a dramatic difference between myself, who has experience and a proven record of results versus my opponent who has well-rehearsed lines and empty rhetoric. I invite you to learn more about me at my website,”

Gunnigle: “Good evening, I’m Julie Gunnigle. I was born, raised, and educated right here in the valley. I hold a degree in chemistry from NAU and a law degree from the University of Notre Dame. During my career, it has been my honor to serve as a prosecutor both in Illinois and Indiana — where I focused on child-on-child sexual assault, financial crime, and public corruption cases. I running to be your next Maricopa County Attorney because our criminal justice system is broken. We need a criminal justice system that will be tough, smart, and fair. A criminal justice system that will be tough on the crimes that matter, crimes that target women, children, and our seniors, that will be smart with reforms that will keep us safe and save us money, and that will be fair and provide equity because Maricopa County has some of the worst racial disparities when it comes to sentencing and policing in the nation. My name is Julie Gunnigle and you can find more about me at”

Sponsor message:

In this segment:

Allister Adel, Maricopa County Attorney; Julie Gunnigle, Maricopa County Attorney challenger; Richard Ruelas, The Arizona Republic; Steve Goldstein, KJZZ Radio

Sponsor message:

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