Sheriff Joe Arpaio may be considering a run for Governor of Arizona, according to Phoenix Business Journal reporter Mike Sunnucks.
If he does so, Chief Deputy David Hendershott might be considering self-imposed exile in Honduras. Or maybe Shanghai.
For Captain Joel Fox, center of the SCA scandal and G. Gordon Liddy-wannabe, there's always harakiri.
This is why I doubt seriously that our septuagenarian sheriff will run for governor. Sure, Arpaio is obsessed with the idea. Has been for years.
"I coulda been the governor," he often tells reporters.
You know, kinda like how Marlon Brando's character in On the Waterfront tells his brother: "I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am."
I've had this discussion several times over the years with Arpaio-watchers. People like to speculate about a doomsday scenario -- Arpaio as the state's chief executive. Anti-Arpaio activists, of all people, seem to derive some perverse thrill in such speculations.
But I don't see it happening. Why? 'Cause the MCSO is riddled with corruption. And like the jefe in a third-world dictatorship, Arpaio doesn't have the option of stepping down and leaving his mess to someone else. Too many skeletons in too many MCSO closets.
See, Arpaio doesn't get to pick a successor. That's the purview of the Board of Supervisors.
A.R.S. 11-443 states that, "When a vacancy occurs in the office of sheriff the chief deputy shall execute the office until the vacancy is filled." But we'd only be stuck with Chief Deputy David Hendershott for the interim, because A.R.S.11-251 (16) makes clear that the board has the power to, "Fill by appointment all vacancies occurring in county or precinct offices."
If three of the five supervisors were to sign off on the replacement Arpaio wants, Arpaio might then be free to pursue his dream, knowing that a flunky's got his back. But considering the ongoing war between the county and the sheriff, the fact Arpaio's being investigated by both the DOJ and the FBI, and the reality that none of his underlings are capable of maintaining his peculiar brand of personality politics, Arpaio would be taking a mighty big risk.
Also, the moment Arpaio resigned to run, as he's supposed to under state law, he would be deprived of the very juice to which he's hopelessly addicted: power. From that point on, he'd become one more schmuck vying for elective office. No more armored car. No more bodyguards shadowing his every step. No more calling the shots.
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How can you inspire fear and blind obedience as just another senior citizen taking advantage of the early-bird special at Luby's? Dictators have to constantly monitor their fiefdoms against Young Turks, or just lackeys tired of being used as footstools. Without the power of the sheriff's office, Arpaio would have no whip to crack.
Plus he'd have to endure the indignity of a Republican primary, and he is by no means universally loved in his own party. He would absolutely face a challenge for the gubernatorial nomination, likely several.
So no, it won't happen. Arpaio's stuck, no matter what trial-ballooner and Joe-lickspittle Jason Rose says. The sheriff is obligated to go down with his rat-infested ship, thereby keeping such vermin as Lisa Allen, Joel Fox and David Hendershott gratefully feasting on government largesse for the foreseeable future.
This is also why Arpaio has to keep running for sheriff till he croaks (of old age, natch). Almost makes ya feel sorry for the guy. Sniff.