Phoenix – Billboards are popping up in Maricopa County urging former Sheriff Joe Arpaio to run “One More Time” in 2020, ostensibly for Sheriff. But who is paying for all of this and will it have its desired impact are both mysteries.
What is known is that the billboards are paid for by One More Time PAC, which has not filed any committee paperwork in Maricopa County as likely required by law. There is a separate effort to draft Arpaio into the US Senate race again in 2020, but that effort is tied to a young GOP consultant from Peoria and appears to be unconnected to the billboards.
While one observer said the whole thing smelled like a Democratic plot to help re-elect Paul Penzone, who beat the Sheriff handily in 2016, others point out that the Sheriff will always have a group of very loyal followers who might well be hoping he runs again.
“The problem is that Arpaio can’t get elected to anything anymore, as his 2018 US Senate campaign proved. He finished third in his own county so how can he run for Sheriff there?” asked one dubious party official.
Of course the only opinion that matters is Arpaio’s, and while he is playing coy, he always plays coy whether he knows he is running or if he knows he isn’t. He loves the attention and has hinted at running for office a number of times while almost always passing on it. The difference this time is that in the past he was a Sheriff passing on running for the US Senate or Governor, now he’s isn’t an elected anything, and after being on the ballot for more than a quarter century, he might not know how to stop running for something.
As Republican voters claim Joe Biden is “past his expiration date” it will be interesting to see how they respond to someone more than a decade older, who lost his last race in a red county by nearly 13%, or 200,000 votes. That is, if Arpaio decides to give it another go, yet again.