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Arizona Democrats say "fire bomb" thrown at Phoenix headquarters

The Maricopa County Democrats said Saturday that police said a "fire bomb" was thrown at the Phoenix headquarters they share with the state party, causing a fire on Thursday night. Phoenix police said Friday that arson is suspected. 

Edder Diaz-Martinez of the Maricopa County Democrats said investigators said the "fire bomb" was thrown on the county party side of the building. The County Democrats said Saturday they are planning to go ahead with their upcoming virtual convention.

Nobody was hurt in the fire, CBS Phoenix affiliate KPHO-TV reported.

Sergeant Mercedes Fortune with the Phoenix Police Department told KPHO-TV that they have "good video" from surveillance cameras in the area.

The building is shared by the Maricopa County Democratic Party and the state party, and a representative for the state party said the portion of the building housing offices for the county was affected the most.

"The fire is devastating but we refuse to let this be a distraction," the Arizona Democratic Party said in a statement. "We feel more empowered than ever to turn Arizona blue."

Firefighters respond to a fire at the Arizona Democratic Party headquarters early on Friday, July 24, 2020. CBS affiliate KPHO-TV

County chair Steven Slugocki told KPHO-TV that the fire destroyed computers, tablets, phone-banking equipment, campaign literature and years of candidate and organizing information. It also destroyed political memorabilia accumulated over decades, including campaign materials for John F. Kennedy, he said.

The incident comes just one day after police in another Arizona town released the results of an investigation into damage to a local Republican party office there. GOP officials initially feared a gunshot had been fired at a local Trump campaign meeting, though authorities later determined the incident was likely the result of a glass marble being thrown through a window. 

Pete Buttigieg, who volunteered for the Arizona Democratic Party in 2004, tweeted that his desk "used to be right through that door."

"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," Buttigieg wrote.

Arizona is one of the battleground states in 2020. President Trump won the state in 2016 by less than four points, and a recent CBS News Battleground Tracker poll found Mr. Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden tied.

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