Feathered Bastard

Joe Arpaio Foe Paul Penzone Adds Greg Stanton's Endorsement to a Ton of Others

See also: Joe Arpaio's Favorability Rating "Falls" to (Sigh) 53 Percent See also: Mike Stauffer's Third-Wheel Bid for Sheriff May Keep Arpaio in Office See also: Sheriff Candidate Bails Out Inmate Who Claims Jail Guards Beat Him; MCSO Calls B.S. and Arrests Him Again Democratic candidate for sheriff Paul Penzone stood in the shadow of Mordor today, so to speak, to accept the endorsement of Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, and add it to his already impressive list of prominent backers.

"I know there are four candidates in this race," said Stanton at one point during a press conference in downtown Phoenix to announce his support for Penzone. "But...based upon my personal experience working with Paul Penzone as a Phoenix Police officer, based upon his leadership of Silent Witness, I know he is the best candidate to bring the highest level of professionalism to the sheriff's office."

Stanton's announcement was made in front of the Orpheum Theatre, almost within spitting distance of the Wells Fargo Tower, where Sheriff Joe Arpaio keeps his pricey, executive offices, offices from which Penzone wants to boot the octogenarian and his sleazy staff come this November.

That's a tall order for a newbie taking on the local, political equivalent of Godzilla: a 20 year incumbent with millions in the bank, who can boast, despite a slew of negatives, a 53 percent approval rating and name recognition approaching 100 percent, according to a recent poll commissioned by the anti-Arpaio group Citizens for a Better Arizona.

Asked about this uphill slog, Penzone acknowledged that the road to Wells Fargo Tower's 19th Floor would not be an easy one. Yet, in ticking off his campaign's accomplishments so far, it's clear Penzone has a shot.

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons