Maricopa County Sheriff Russell Pearce?

Russell Pearce may be spending "a little time with [his] god" after getting the boot from his powerful position as state Senate president Tuesday night, but for the less pious, Pearce's ouster means one thing: it's time to speculate about what he'll do next.

The predictions have ranged from his again running for his soon-to-be-former seat in next year's election...to running for Congress...to simply fading away into political obscurity.

While many would prefer the latter, one prediction in particular has piqued our interest: Maricopa County Sheriff Russell Pearce?

May have a terrifying ring to it, but it seems as plausible as any of the possible scenarios.

Maricopa County's current sheriff, Joe Arpaio, is no spring chicken. In other words, homeboy's pushin' 80, and -- unlike anything to do with the Andrew Thomas disciplinary hearings -- likely can "recall" what he was wearing the day the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.

Arpaio and Pearce also happen to be buddies. The sheriff told New Times Tuesday night (after Pearce kinda gave a concession speech) that "no matter what [Pearce] runs for, I'm gonna support him."

County-wide, Pearce isn't the most popular guy. Hell, he's not even the most popular guy in Mesa's uber-Conservative Legislative District 18. Not to mention, assuming Arpaio passes the torch, Pearce would have to face Scottsdale Lieutenant Mike Stauffer -- who's making quite a name for himself lately -- in the general election for sheriff.

Regardless, Pearce seems like a prime candidate to be America's self-proclaimed "toughest sheriff's" hand-picked successor.

When you're done screaming in terror at the thought of "Sheriff Russell Pearce," we'd like to know what you think: could Pearce be Arpaio's Maricopa County's next sheriff?

Cast your vote below.

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James King
Contact: James King