Joe Arpaio Loses Third Comeback Bid In Town Mayoral Race
This is Arpaio's third failed political comeback attempt since losing his sheriff’s seat in 2016, in which he had served over two decades.
Former Maricopa County, AZ, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was charged with criminal contempt and later pardoned by then-President Donald Trump in 2017, lost his race to become the mayor of Fountain Hills, AZ, on Wednesday.
This is Arpaio's third failed political comeback attempt since losing his sheriff’s seat in 2016, in which he had served over two decades. He previously failed in attempts for one of Arizona’s U.S. Senate seats (in 2018) and his old sheriff’s position (in 2020), unable to emerge from the GOP primary field both times.
The Republican political figure said he is not conceding his most recent race — despite election officials saying that all of the votes in Maricopa County have been counted — and is taking the opportunity to sow doubt about the election, too.
“I’m not a lawyer. I just want a little information. In today’s environment, a large percentage of the people are not happy with the way the (election) system was working,” Arpaio said via the AP.
With a population of more than 4 million, Maricopa County is the most populous county in Arizona and one of the most populous counties anywhere in the U.S. In his 24 years as sheriff, Arpaio became synonymous with the GOP’s hard right stance on immigration policy. According to the AP, he led dozens of controversial large-scale traffic patrols and business raids targeting undocumented immigrants.
Arpaio and the office he oversaw was frequently accused of misconduct, from civil rights violations, to entrapment, to wrongful detentions, to racial profiling, and more. In total, he cost Maricopa County taxpayers $140M+ in lawsuits brought against the sheriff’s office.