Ducey’s attorney drops bid for Maricopa County prosecutor

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s in-house counsel has dropped out of his bid for the Republican nomination as Maricopa County’s chief prosecutor.

Anni Foster announced her decision to end her social media campaign on Monday evening. Her decision came days after the Republican-dominated Maricopa County Board of Supervisors unanimously selected Rachel Mitchell as acting county attorney.

Foster, Mitchell and Goodyear City Attorney Gina Godbehere all announced nominations for the seat in the days after County Attorney Allister Adel resigned last month. The five-member council interviewed the three Republicans seeking to replace her early last week, then chose Mitchell as the temporary replacement.

The board was required to choose a Republican because Adel was a member of the GOP.

Godbehere said she would stay in the primary race and step down from her job at Goodyear to focus on her campaign. In Foster’s announcement, she said it was time to unite around Mitchell as the GOP candidate.

The only Democratic candidate is Julie Gunnigle, who also applied for the job in 2020.

Some criticized the board for appointing someone to seek the acting attorney general position, as it immediately gave Mitchell front-runner status as incumbent.

Mitchell is a longtime sex crimes prosecutor in the county. She gained national attention in 2018 when she was nominated by U.S. Senate Republicans to question a woman during the confirmation hearing for current U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. The woman accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault.

Adel resigned last month amid criticism over his performance, including the dismissal of 180 misdemeanor cases because charges were not filed before the statute of limitations expired. She was also under scrutiny to find out if an admitted alcohol abuse problem affected her ability to do the job.

Jon J. Epps