Joe Arpaio Is Running for Mayor of Fountain Hills, Arizona

Joe Arpaio.
Joe Arpaio. Gage Skidmore
Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio announced today that he is officially running for mayor of Fountain Hills, the small town northeast of Phoenix where he lives.

Arpaio, who is 89 years old, told Phoenix New Times in September that he was "really thinking" about running for the position in the 2022 election cycle. He confirmed his candidacy in a news release posted to Twitter this morning.

"It was an honor and privilege serving the people of Maricopa County as their Sheriff," Arpaio said in the statement. "Now, I want to directly give something back to my hometown of Fountain Hills, Arizona, which I love, utilizing my life experience and common sense to make Fountain Hills a better place to live."

The release listed a number of Arpaio's priorities, such as "attracting new businesses," reducing taxes, increasing tourism, and continuing his "fight against illegal immigration, human smuggling, and drug trafficking."

Fountain Hills' current mayor is Ginney Dickey. The 2022 primary election is scheduled for August.

Reached by phone today, Arpaio said that he has "filed all the necessary papers" to run for office on Monday.

"I am serious about the position," Arpaio said. "I'm not retired."

Arpaio served as Maricopa County Sheriff from 1993 until 2016, when he was defeated by Democrat Paul Penzone. He was eventually convicted of criminal contempt for ignoring a court order to stop racially profiling Latinos when he was sheriff. Former President Donald Trump pardoned Arpaio in 2017. He unsuccessfully ran to replace former Arizona Senator Jeff Flake in 2018 and lost the Republican primary election in 2020 when he ran to become Maricopa County Sheriff a second time.

You can read New Times' decades-long coverage of Arpaio in our archives here
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Josh Kelety is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. Previously, he worked as a reporter for the Inlander and Seattle Weekly.
Contact: Josh Kelety