Joe Arpaio readies second run for mayor in Phoenix suburb | Phoenix New Times

Say it ain’t so, Joe

Joe Arpaio, the controversial former Maricopa County sheriff, is gearing up to run for Fountain Hills mayor — again.
Joe Arpaio said he's gathered enough signatures to qualify as a candidate for Fountain Hills mayor.
Joe Arpaio said he's gathered enough signatures to qualify as a candidate for Fountain Hills mayor. Pablo Robles
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Joe Arpaio has lost the last four times he’s been on the ballot.

But that’s not stopping the controversial former Maricopa County sheriff from trying again. He’s running a second time to become mayor of Fountain Hills, the far East Valley suburb he’s called home for decades.

In August, Arpaio declared his intentions to run again just a year after losing to Mayor Ginny Dickey by 213 votes. On Thursday, he announced he’s gathered 594 signatures to get on the ballot again — the maximum number the city said is needed.

The result, Arpaio said in a press release, “further affirms his popularity in Fountain Hills.”

“I’m extremely thankful and honored for the support of the citizens of Fountain Hills recognizing my wisdom, principles and leadership,” he said. “Together, we will steer Fountain Hills to a safe and bright future.”

Arpaio can submit the signatures as soon as March 9. Dickey, whose term expires in December, hasn’t filed a statement of interest to run again. But Councilmember Gerry Friedel and Robyn Marian, a Fountain Hills resident, are also in the race.

The election is Aug. 6.
After losing his reelection as sheriff to Paul Penzone in 2016, Arpaio suffered two more losses — in Republican primaries for U.S. Senate in 2018 and sheriff in 2020. His fourth consecutive loss came in August 2022 in the Fountain Hills race for mayor.

Dickey told Phoenix New Times in 2022 that Arpaio’s “negative approach filled with innuendo, untruths and caricatures failed and alienated a large segment of our community.”

Arpaio, 91, ran the sheriff's office for 24 years. His scandal-ridden tenure made the office synonymous with racial profiling, abuses of power and police misconduct. He even orchestrated the 2007 arrests of Phoenix New Times' co-founders Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin.

Arpaio’s racial profiling prompted a class-action lawsuit, Melendres v. Arpaio. It led to his criminal contempt conviction in 2017, though he was pardoned by former President Donald Trump. The case caused a federal judge to appoint an independent monitor for the sheriff’s office, which has cost county taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.

Sheriff Paul Penzone cited the case as one of the reasons he’s quitting the job and not running for reelection this year.
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