Joe Arpaio is known as the “Toughest Sheriff in America” for his hard stance on crime and undocumented immigrants in Maricopa County, Arizona. He has been investigated by the US Department of Justice for discrimination and supposed misconduct, although he denies the accusations.
Joe Arpaio, 80, has been serving as sheriff of Maricopa County for over two decades. Arpaio, a Republican, was reelected to a sixth term on Tuesday, although there are still ballots to be counted. (Challenger Democrat Paul Penzone already conceded defeat, with Arpaio carrying 53 percent of the vote). Arpaio raised over $8.5 million for his campaign, compared with Penzone’s $530,000. Arpaio’s funds were donated from all over the country despite his designation over Maricopa County alone.
After a tumultuous and very tense relationship with Latinos in the county, the sherrif-elect is looking to reach out to the community. CNN reported that the sheriff, addressing a crowd after his reelection, announced,
“I would hope to get together with the Latino community, if I could ever have them talk to me without screaming and threatening me. So I hope to get together with the community and try to explain what we do.”
Immigration advocacy activists who campaigned against Arpaio believe there is still hope in defeating the sheriff. As of Thursday morning, there were still hundreds of thousands of early voter and provisional ballots to be accounted for in Maricopa County, according to the Secretary of State.
Once official, the controversial sheriff has a lot to prove to the community. Between mistrust in the Latino community and federal investigations, he will be closely watched in his new term.
Arpaio has no intention of leaving public service anytime soon, despite his advanced age. He is looking to run again in 2016.