Joe Arpaio is attempting to reclaim the subway Phoenix sheriff’s post, which he held for 24 years, against his former second in command in the Republican primary on August 4 in what has become his second comeback bid.
The 88-year-old lawyer, who had been in a 2016 Sheriff race by a democratic challenger in 2016 and was defeated in a race in the 2018 United States Senate, has based much of his campaign on his support for President Donald Trump .
He has vowed to bring back things the courts have either considered illegal or abolished his successor: immigration crime, a complex of prison tents and other now-discarded trademarks.
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“I’m telling you now: I’m going to do 90% of what I’ve done in my 24 years,” said Arpaio. “It will be so.”
Arpaio and his former Commander in Chief, Jerry Sheridan, are considered leaders in GOP primary. Glendale officer Mike Crawford and Mesa guard Lehland Burton are also aiming for the Republican nomination.
The winner will face Democrat Paul Penzone, who crushed Arpaio in 2016 and runs unhindered in his primary election.
Arpaio and Sheridan were forced to leave the office due to serious criticism for being found in civil contempt for court for failing to follow Arpaio’s traffic patrols aimed at immigrants in 2011.
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Arpaio said he wanted to prove that his 2016 defeat was a fluke. But he has far less campaign money than before and acknowledges that some voters don’t even know he’s on the ballot box this year.
Sheridan, who said Arpaio made a pledge to support him, said his 38 years in law enforcement could help turn a tainted body over and insisted he be his own.
“I would argue with him if I disagreed with him,” said Sheridan. “Often he listened to what I said. Other times he waved me away. I am not Joe Arpaio. ‘
Mike O’Neil, a longtime Arizona pollster who has followed Arpaio’s career, believes voters in the general election would disapprove of Arpaio. But he said it is an open question whether primary voters – his staunchest supporters – would turn him down. “It’s a mystery in a Republican primacy,” said O’Neil.
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In the past seven years, the sheriff’s office has undergone a court-ordered overhaul after a judge ruled that sheriff’s deputies had racially profiled Latino’s in Arpaio’s immigration patrols. The findings of civil contempt against Arpaio and Sheridan have been made in the profiling case.
Arpaio was later convicted of criminal contempt for defying the order, but he was spared a possible prison sentence when Trump pardoned him. Sheridan was not charged with criminal contempt.
Arpaio and Sheridan vigorously dispute the contempt findings. Sheridan said he was unaware of the widely publicized injunction and did not lead the unit conducting immigration patrols.
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Taxpayer costs from the case are expected to reach $ 178 million by summer. No one in the provincial government can say when spending will decrease or end.
A report on the agency’s traffic enforcement said stops of Spanish and black drivers in 2019 will take longer and result in searches than those of white drivers.
Penzone declined an interview request.
Crawford, a 28-year-old police veteran who works as a patrol officer, said the scandals caused by the profiling case prompted him to flee. “We absolutely have to get rid of that kind of law enforcement behavior,” he said.
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Burton, an enrollment candidate who has not worked in law enforcement, said the agency’s biggest challenge is the biased treatment of blacks and hispanics.
Burton said he can speak credibly to those who have been discriminated against because he is an outsider of police culture and has been harassed and abused by police officers as a black man in the past.
Arpaio’s political commitments have been piling up for years: $ 147 million in taxpayer-funded legal bills, failing to investigate more than 400 sex crime complaints filed in the office, and initiating criminal investigations against judges, politicians, and others who have conflicted with him. .
His first political comeback attempt ended badly when he finished third in a 2018 United States Senate primacy, even losing his adopted hometown of Fountain Hills.
While Arpaio is one of the sheriff’s candidates in the $ 1.2 million fundraising – most of his donations came from other states – the total pales in comparison to the $ 10 million he currently raised in 2016.
Arpaio said he remains mentally sharp and physically healthy. If he won and served the full four years, he would end that term six months before his 93rd birthday.
He quickly points out that 77-year-old former vice president Joe Biden and 87-year-old Supreme Court judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg will continue to work as they age.
“No one is indispensable,” said Arpaio. “If I die in the office, you will appoint someone else.”
© 2020 The Canadian Press