Maricopa County Recorder's Race Heats Up With More Campaign Spending

By Carrie Jung
Published: Wednesday, October 26, 2016 - 1:57pm
Updated: Wednesday, October 26, 2016 - 2:49pm
Maricopa County Recorder's Office
Helen Purcell
Alonso Parra
Adrian Fontes

Over the last 30 years, the race for Maricopa County Recorder has rarely seen a challenger, let alone significant campaign spending. That’s completely different this year.

Sitting Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell squeaked by with a victory in the primary race. She now faces Democrat Adrian Fontes, a criminal defense attorney and Marine Corps veteran, in the general election.

And Fontes brings with him a few more resources than the race for this office has historically seen. His campaign has a headquarter building, an aggressive social media presence and even a commercial that’s been distributed on the web.

"This campaign has taught me so much about politics," said Fontes. "We’ve done phone banking we’ve done fundraising events all over the county. I get out in front of folks."

So far, campaign finance reports show Fontes has spent just over $50,000. Purcell, in contrast, spent a little over $20,000. She said she is on the campaign trail in her free time, with much of her fundraising coming through local speaking engagements with her base.   

"You try to get out to what you consider is your base, which is the republican base, and certainly appeal to the independent voters," said Purcell.  

Purcell’s campaign is stressing that experience matters, as she has spent 28 years in this position. Fontes is spending much of his effort arguing it’s time for new blood especially after some of the mistakes the office has made this election season like sending out pamphlets with outdated polling information and cutting polling sites during the presidential preference election that let to hours long lines.