How’s Reelection Looking For 'America’s Toughest Sheriff' Joe Arpaio?

on September 13 2012 11:23 AM
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After a six-month-long investigation, America’s self-proclaimed “toughest sheriff” suggested that the President Barack Obama’s birth certificate and selective service registration cards are fakes. Reuters

The Justice Dept. is suing him, and pro-immigration activists want him out, but it seems Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio might be here to stay.

The 80-year-old, who declares himself "America's toughest sheriff" and is known for his extreme anti-immigration views, might just secure a sixth term in office as a poll shows that Arpaio is keeping his lead over his closest challenger.

The Tucson Citizen reported that Switchboard Communications conducted an automated poll of 850 county residents Monday, on behalf of Arpaio's rival, Paul Penzone, in which they found Arpaio would be the victor if elections were held this month.

What The Poll Says

Almost 45 percent of respondents said they would vote for Arpaio. Only 39 percent said they would support Penzone, a Democrat.

An embattled Arpaio knows he's in for a tough run this year. But it seems that those who want to get rid of the sheriff will need to try a little bit harder.

Arpaio, who has been accused of racial profiling of Latinos, told Fox News Latino during the Republican National Convention last month that he's just doing his job.

"I don't make the law. I'm the sheriff. I enforce the laws, and I'm enforcing state laws and federal laws," Arpaio said. "I don't think that's a problem. Now I am the poster boy from Washington -- from the president on down -- but is it because I am just doing my job?"

Immigration Issues Aren't New

Arpaio, who believes the federal probes he's undergoing are politically motivated, said immigration issues are nothing new.

"This is just another subject, another law that we are enforcing," he said. "But for some reason, I am getting shot at -- not literally so far -- by all the activists, the White House, everybody else. The Justice Dept. is taking me to court just because I'm enforcing the law."

With a reported more than $4 million in his campaign treasury, it looks as if Arpaio won't be changing his campaign rhetoric any time soon.

And why should he?

GOP lobbyist Stan Barnes told the Associated Press that "issues in campaigns are like flowers: They bloom, go away and then they bloom again. The bloom is off illegal immigration."

Of course, there are others who doubt Arpaio, who is still investigating whether President Obama was born in the U.S., will survive the race.

"He's had too much unchecked power for too long," activist Randy Parraz told the AP.

But whether or not immigration is still a burning issue for voters in Arizona, whose state has been a major route for illegal immigrants over the years, you can rest assured that one thing remains constant.

"I am not backing down," Arpaio told the media last month. "I am not toning down anything."

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