2016 -- Making History in Maricopa County
History was made in Maricopa County on November 8, 2016 with the election of 6 Democrats to countywide offices:
- Paul Penzone won the race for Sheriff
- Adrian Fontes is our new County Recorder
- Alexandra Muller Arboleda, Ben Graff, and Jim Holway won countywide seats on the Central Arizona Water Conservation District (CAWCD) Board
- Dr. Linda Thor was elected to the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) Board to the countywide at-large seat
We ran 9 candidates for countywide office, and 6 of those 9 candidates won!
We've never had 6 Democrats win countywide office in living memory. We've ended one-party rule here -- and we congratulate all our elected candidates and thank all our candidates for running.
MCDP's volunteers called over 1 million voters and knocked on over half a million doors to make this victory for our Democratic candidates in Maricopa County possible. Thank you!
Our two highest profile candidates, Paul Penzone and Adrian Fontes, not only won their races, they also received more votes in Maricopa County than any other Democratic candidates in the county this year -- and more votes than any other Democrats in Maricopa County in history.
For the Central Arizona Water Conservation District (CAWCD) Board, we ran 3 candidates for the 5 available seats -- and all 3 were elected. In fact, one of our candidates, Alexandra Arboleda, received the top number of votes among all candidates for that board. The Republicans ran 7 candidates for the 5 seats, and only 2 of the GOP candidates were elected.
Our candidate for the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) Board's countywide at-large seat, Dr. Linda Thor, received 68.5 percent of the vote in her race.
Comparisons -- 2016 and 2012
Between the 2012 and 2016 elections, overall voter registration increased by 343,884 in Maricopa County. That's an increase of 18.9%.
Of that total, Democratic registration increased by 108,145 voters (21.2%), while Republican registration increased by just 81,857 (11.9%). Registration of all others/no party preference increased by 153,882 (24.7%).
Total turnout in Maricopa County was the highest ever at 1,608,875 voters, though the percentage of turnout was down narrowly compared to 2012. Overall, turnout increased by 218,039 voters over 2012.
Paul Penzone received the highest number of votes of any candidate -- not just Democratic candidate -- in Maricopa County this year. He received 861,757 votes, and beat Republican incumbent Joe Arpaio by 12.8% to win the Sheriff's race.
This year, Penzone won 12 of the 16 Legislative Districts (LDs) that are located completely within Maricopa County: LDs 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 23, 24, 26, 27, 28, 29, and 30. He also won 1 of the 4 LDs that are located partly in Maricopa County: LD 4.
Adrian Fontes received the second highest number of votes of any Democratic candidate in Maricopa County this year with 704,916 votes to beat GOP incumbent Helen Purcell. Fontes received 50.4% of the vote, defeating Purcell, who has been in the County Recorder's office since 1988.
This year, Fontes won 9 of the 16 Legislative Districts (LDs) that are located completely within Maricopa County: LDs 18, 19, 20, 24, 26, 27, 28, 29, and 30. No Democrat ran for the Recorder's office in 2012 -- in fact, no Democratic candidate has run for this office since 1988.