Democratic headquarters in Arizona county burns down, arson suspected

Amanda Bullock / July 23,2020

Damage from the fire that broke out at the Maricopa County Democratic Party headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona.
Courtesy of Maricopa County Democrats

  • A fire that broke out at the Maricopa County Democratic Party headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona, early Friday morning is suspected to be arson, according to investigators.
  • Investigators have combed through evidence, including a large amount of video surveillance footage.
  • Fire department officials added that the investigation was still ongoing.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A fire that broke out at the Maricopa County Democratic Party headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona, early Friday morning is suspected to be arson, according to investigators.
Firefighters extinguished the fire at the headquarters at around 1 a.m. local time. No injuries were reported. Investigators have since combed through evidence, including a large amount of video surveillance footage, Phoenix Fire Department officials said during a press conference.
Fire department officials said the investigation was still ongoing, but that they eliminated the possibility that it was an accident.
“Our computers, our phones, our tablets, our printers, everything to get out the vote was destroyed in the fire last night,” Steven Slugocki, the chairman of the county’s Democratic Party, said to Insider. “Someone through a [projectile] threw it through our window and it destroyed our building.”
Slugocki, citing people who reviewed the video evidence, said a person got our of their car, threw a projectile at the building, and drove away. Minutes later, the fire swept through the building.
“We’re pretty upset. It’s a devastating loss for us,” Slugocki said, adding that the Democratic Party was “going harder than ever before.”
“It’s more important than ever that we do the work that we were elected to do, and that’s to win elections this November,” he said.
Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, who once worked at the location, expressed his condolences.
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“Very sorry to see this – my desk used to be right through that door, back in 2004,” Buttigieg said in a tweet. “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.”
Arizona Democratic Party communications director Matt Grodsky said the damage would not have a large impact on the upcoming election due to its staff, who have been working remotely, according to KTAR News.
The state’s Republican Party in a statement commended the work of law enforcement officials and said “violence of any kind is unacceptable.”
“Any person committing an act of violence, especially politically motivated violence, against any individual, party, or group in Arizona must be held accountable and prosecuted to the maximum extent of our laws,” the statement said, adding that “ultimately we are all Americans and must treat each other as such.”
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