Joe Arpaio Foe Mike Stauffer to Submit Nearly 30,000 Signatures to County Elections Office

If about two-thirds of the signatures Mike Stauffer hands over to the county elections office tomorrow are legit, he'll be on the ballot for Maricopa County Sheriff come November.

Stauffer, a Scottsdale police lieutenant, is running as an Independent, which -- as the Feathered Bastard previously pointed out -- requires 19,410 nominating signatures to get on the ballot, far more than is required of the major parties' candidates.

The Stauffer campaign announced today that it's turning in more than 29,500 signatures tomorrow, well above the threshold, which the campaign claimed to have passed in mid-March.

Assuming Mickey Mouse, Winston Churchill, and other non-voters account for less than one-third of the signatures, Stauffer will earn a place on the general-election ballot between Democrat Paul Penzone and Republican Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

That may not be a nail-biting issue, since when the Stauffer campaign announced that it had passed 20,000, Stauffer campaign manager West Kenyon told the Bird that all the signatures they had collected at that point had been verified as qualified Maricopa County voters.

Additionally, Stauffer actually has until the end of the month to turn in the signatures, so it would seem that he's turning in his signatures tomorrow with some confidence.

If that all works out, then it's on to figuring out a way to defeat Arpaio, which a grand total of zero people have done since Arpaio took over the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office in 1992.

Having Penzone in the race doesn't help Stauffer's cause, and the same can be said about Stauffer from Penzone's perspective.

Arpaio's war chest isn't helping Stauffer, either, as Arpaio's $3.4 million had Stauffer beat by approximately, uh, $3.4 million when the last campaign finance reports were due at the end of last year.

Stauffer did collect a few thousand before the end of the year, but the next reports, due July 2, may be more telling.

Still, Stauffer's gaining support, as evidenced by the near-30,000 people who OK'd putting him on the ballot.

In his most recent campaign-finance report -- again, which doesn't include 2012 -- Stauffer had received contributions from state Senator Nancy Barto and her husband, some fellow Scottsdale cops, and even an MCSO deputy, among others. Stauffer also has the endorsement of Scottsdale Councilman Bob Littlefield.

There's still some time until November, so we'll let Stauffer focus on the signatures for today.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley