Election Night: No New Sheriff in Town
The controversial Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio is running a close re-election campaign against democratic challenger Paul Penzone.
Al Macias
November 04, 2012

Campaign Trail

The controversial Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio is running a close re-election campaign against a Democratic challenger, Paul Penzone, and an Independent, Mike Stauffer. Arpaio, a lightning rod for immigration issues, has raised millions of dollars from individual donors. But an activist group has mobilized over 30,000 new voters with one goal and message: Adios Arpaio.

Twenty Years of Joe Arpaio

Twenty years; that's how long it's been since Joe Arpaio was first elected sheriff of Maricopa County in Arizona. This is a look at what's changed over the years, how Arpaio campaigns for an office he's held for nearly two decades, and the strong emotions he generates.

One Sunday this summer, those emotions were on display at two very different demonstrations in Fountain Hills, Ariz.

"What would Jesus do about Arpaio? Arpaio’s the devil!" shouted Dee Dee Garcia Blase, founder of the Tequila Party organization. She was leading a small, loud group of protesters outside the Catholic Church of the Ascension, where Arpaio and his wife Ava attend. Garcia Blase wants the Catholic Church to denounce Arpaio and deny him communion.

The demonstration outraged Gary L'Vov. "Don't go to our churches and come to our town and protest in front of our church!" he said at a counter-protest he organized a short drive away from the church. A fierce Arpaio supporter, L'Vov and his group are standing on the sidewalk asking like-minded drivers to honk. And honk they do.

"The Sheriff gets good reaction everywhere in the world," L'Vov said. "That's why he gets reelected by a landslide each and every time that he runs."

Well, not exactly. Over the years, Arpaio's margin of victory has gotten increasingly smaller.

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Election Night

Updated Wednesday 11:00 am

Arpaio Wins Sixth Term As Sheriff

It was the toughest re-election battle he’s ever faced, but Sheriff Joe Arpaio won a sixth term as the top lawman in Maricopa County, Arizona.

Despite his lowest-ever approval ratings and poll numbers, bruising scandals, and a huge volunteer effort to oust him, Joe Arpaio was re-elected as Maricopa County Sheriff. And the 80-year-old Republican made it clear Tuesday that he has no intention of going anywhere anytime soon.

"For those critics out there, I’m going to say right now: in January, I’m signing up for 2016, so I’m not a lame duck. So I’m saying that right now," Arpaio exclaimed. Read more

9:41 PM

Sheriff Joe Victory Speech

8:51 PM

AP reports at 9:30pm AZ time that Sheriff Joe Arpaio won re-election. The quick decisive news must be a shock to the activists who mobilized over 30,000 new Latino voters, and all the discussion about the sleeping giant of the Latino vote. We talked to a freelance political consultant, who works with the Latino community, Edgar Loya. He eloquently explained the challenges of the mobilizing the Latino vote. It seems appropriate right now.

8:00 PM

Arpaio Tweet