Adrian Fontes on Taking Over as Maricopa County Recorder
By: Cindy G. Castillo
The Maricopa County Recorder’s Office is welcoming a new face to its administration – Adrian Fontes.
A newcomer when it comes to politics, Fontes beat Republican Helen Purcell during November’s elections, consistently leading by more than 13,000 votes. With this win, Fontes has also become the first Democrat elected to the office in the past 50 years.
“I feel very fortunate that I didn’t have to do it alone,” Fontes tells AZLatinos.com, “I had a great team around me and we had the best interest of the voters and I think they recognized that.”
Fontes announced his candidacy for Maricopa County Recorder back in March, a day after the state’s presidential-preference election. This election left thousands of voters outraged over the decision by Purcell’s office to cut polling places in the county from 200 in 2012 to only 60. Some voters waited in line for up to five hours to cast their ballots.
With this in mind, Fontes realizes he will be held accountable by the community on what happens in future elections. “I believe we now hold in our hands people’s trust – they’re going to be watching what we do,” he said, “and I appreciate that because that will continue to motivate me to perform in the highest level that I can.”
With such a big change happening in office, Fontes wants to go in with a fresh new perspective. “I want to make sure we have the right attitude in office,” he said, “as far as that goes, what that means to me is that I want to make sure that everybody understands that the office is there to serve the voter, not the other way around. That we are helping the voters, and that the voters are who we work for.”
Fontes issued a statement after his November win, thanking Purcell for her years of service to the county and for the “honorable way she conducted herself” in her campaign.
“Ours was a contest of issues, ideas and performance,” he wrote, “and should serve as an example for all campaigns conducted in Arizona. I look forward to working with Mrs. Purcell and her team at the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office as we move into the transition.”
When it comes to campaigns in our state, he highlighted the successful efforts by community leaders to get the Latino community out and voting, but wants to stress the importance of keeping that momentum going year-long.
“Unless we as Latinos pay attention to our rights and work hard during the off cycles, we could lose ground that we’ve recently gained,” he explains, “I’m very hopeful that people will pay attention to those things and continue to work hard to get Latinos engaged.”