Maricopa County, Arizona, last week elected a new county attorney, Republican Rachel Mitchell, a veteran prosecutor and Arizona native who was also picked by Republicans to be the investigative counsel in confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
In that role, Mitchell questioned Kavanaugh and the woman who accused him of sexual assault decades earlier, Dr. Christine Blasely Ford. The Senate Judiciary Committee and the full Senate ultimately confirmed Kavanaugh, and Republicans credit Mitchell for deftly handling a delicate situation.
'She was a stabilizing force for senators during the tumultuous proceedings to confirm Justice Kavanaugh,' Mike Davis, who served as chief counsel for nominations for the committee during the Kavanaugh hearings, told Fox News Digital.
'She calmly and meticulously investigated the allegations and greatly assisted senators in fulfilling one of their most critical constitutional duties,' he said, adding that she 'wasn’t concerned about the politics and laughed at the personal attacks against her.'
'Rachel is unflinching, smart, and fair,' said Davis, adding she is a 'rock of stability.'
Mitchell last week beat her Democratic challenger, Julie Gunnigle, 53% to 47%. Gunnigle, a former prosecutor in Cook County, Illinois, who campaigned on progressive law enforcement reforms, reportedly said in a statement conceding the race that she vows to 'keep an eye' on the office and 'continue to demand better for all people in Maricopa County.'
Mitchell spent 30 years in the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, the third-largest prosecutorial agency in the nation, where she specialized in prosecuting crimes against children and advocating for stronger penalties for offenders. Maricopa is America’s fourth-largest county in the country with nearly 4.5 million residents, more than half the entire population of Arizona.
Mitchell says her campaign was about 'restoring trust' with victims of crime, with law enforcement and with the Maricopa community.
'I don’t want to see this become another Seattle, become another Chicago,' she said in a campaign ad featured on her campaign’s website.
'Public safety isn’t partisan,' Mitchell said in a statement after she won. 'All Arizonans demand safe communities in which to live, work and raise their children.
'I will continue working with law enforcement and community leaders to hold criminals accountable, increase the use of treatment to rehabilitate where appropriate, deliver justice for victims and put the safety of Maricopa County residents first.'