Phoenix Councilwoman Peggy Neely Wants Sheriff Joe to Support Her Bid for Mayor

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has seen better days -- what with those allegations of corruption and criminal activity in his office, that scandal with the Sheriff's Command Association, those politically motivated investigations against judges and county supervisors by him and his pal, ex-County Attorney Andy Thomas, and ...

Well, all that skulduggery doesn't matter to everyone. 

Councilwoman Peggy Neely, who want to be Phoenix's next mayor, wants Arpaio on her political team.

Neely, who has not made her bid for mayor official -- she is still running an "exploratory" campaign --has been working to nab some big names for her list of political endorsements.

(As soon as Neely makes her run for mayor official, she will have to resign from the City Council. The deadline for mayoral nomination papers is June 1.)

A few months ago, Neely stopped by Arpaio's office and asked for his endorsement. But she walked out empty-handed.

Apparently, Neely was the person Arpaio was referring to when he told Arizona Republic columnist E.J. Montini in November that:

"Just last week I had someone in my office who is running for mayor of Phoenix," he says. "If I'm taking so much heat, why are they still coming to my office for endorsements?"

Like Neely, "they" may be after his endorsements, but Arpaio doesn't plan to give it up that easily.

"I don't know what I'm going to do," Arpaio told New Times. "I haven't made any decisions."

Arpaio said he just ran into Wes Gullet, another candidate in the Phoenix mayor's race, at a couple of events and he, too, has asked for Arpaio's support.

Gullett said he is asking everyone for support, and was recently at a Tea Party shindig (along with Councilman Claude Mattox, also in the mayor's race) looking for a little political love.

Former Councilman Greg Stanton, another contender for Phoenix mayor, and Mattox both told New Times they have not sought Arpaio's endorsement.

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Monica Alonzo
Contact: Monica Alonzo