The Democratic Party’s state and county headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona, was targeted in an arson attack on Friday.
Luckily, no one was injured in the early-hours blaze that ripped through and decimated the part of the building occupied by the Maricopa County Democratic Party. The state party’s HQ suffered minor damage.
The inferno destroyed decades-worth of gathered voter and candidate information and memorabilia, according to local news reports.
It was definitely set deliberately, Phoenix Police Department Sgt. Mercedes Fortune told reporters.
The arsonists currently remain at large.
Fortune said “we do have some good video” of the attack. The investigation is ongoing.
Steven Slugocki, chair of the Maricopa County Democratic Party, described the damage as “heartbreaking.”
“Devastated. We lost our side of the building at the Maricopa County Democratic Party,” he tweeted Friday. “The fire completely destroyed everything.”
— Steven Slugocki (@Slugocki) July 24, 2020
“We are all still in a state of shock,” Slugocki said via a statement. “Knowing that this fire was set deliberately is disturbing news, but I am relieved no one was injured.”
Most staffers have worked remotely since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
No one had entered the building for several days, said Slugocki.
Footage shared on the Maricopa County Democratic Party’s Twitter feed showed how its HQ had been “completely ruined” in the fire:
Our building has been completely ruined. The authorities are continuing their investigation and are labeling this as arson.
— Maricopa County Democrats (@MaricopaDems) July 24, 2020
The Arizona Democratic Party remained defiant.
“The flags are still standing and so are we,” it tweeted:
The flags are still standing and so are we. We’re ready to turn this state blue. 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/FQzHMnT5Zl
— Arizona Democratic Party (@azdemparty) July 25, 2020
Former Democratic 2020 presidential contender Pete Buttigieg tweeted his condolences, recalling his time working in the office in 2004:
Very sorry to see this – my desk used to be right through that door, back in 2004. Glad no one was hurt, and I know we can count on supporters to make sure AZ/Maricopa Dems are back up and running quickly as you continue to Turn Arizona Blue. https://t.co/Q95R6GsxPM
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) July 24, 2020
Kate Gallego, the Democratic mayor of Phoenix, said she was “heartbroken” by the news:
Heartbroken hearing the news about the fire at the @MaricopaDems and @azdemparty HQ last night. It was a home to many volunteers and staff working tirelessly to better our community. Pitch in below 👇@MaricopaDems: https://t.co/E0d7yZckto@azdemparty: https://t.co/pcBbnJiomp https://t.co/ED5yJvknCc
— Kate Gallego (@KateWGallego) July 24, 2020
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