Is Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Latest Comeback Campaign On Life Support In Arizona?

Campaign communications indicate poor fundraising and an uncertain future

Arpaio in an appearance on Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Who Is America.” [Photo from YouTube]

Say it ain’t so Joe!

Former Maricopa County Sheriff has been working on a comeback since his resounding 2016 defeat to Democrat Paul Penzone.  Arpaio’s 2018 U.S. Senate run ended badly, as he finished third out of the three candidates running, even finishing last in his home county of Maricopa.  So some were surprised when, shortly after endorsing former Chief Deputy Jerry Sheridan for the Republican nod for Sheriff, Arpaio changed his mind and decided to run for Sheriff yet again.

While Arpaio was expected to raise a great deal of money and at least win the GOP primary easily, emails sent from the Sheriff indicate that fundraising has failed to meet the campaign’s goals, targets are being missed, and at one point, the Sheriff was strongly considering dropping out.

The campaign’s other challenge may be keeping donors emotionally invested in the Sheriff’s races. While his campaign messages from ten or twelve years ago were full of excitement and fire-breathing rhetoric, his current pitches for even just $3 or $5 are low-resolution videos where the Sheriff is relying on written notes just to remind himself to ask for contributions.

“In fairness to donors and voters, the Sheriff hasn’t won a race since 2012, even though he has raised and spent probably $20 million since then. Voters are tired of Arpaio so it makes sense that donors are getting tired of flushing their money down the drain as well.” said one campaign observer, who expressed doubts about the GOP’s ability to recapture the Sheriff’s office.

In spite of the campaign’s troubles, Arpaio’s huge lists of donors is expected to give him a  financial edge in the primary that may help him to overcome voter fatigue from a campaign message that is little changed from his races eight and twelve years ago.  “Yes, Arpaio has a primary election problem with Sheridan,” said the observer, “but part of his primary problem is that he has an insurmountable general election problem with Penzone, who crushed him by more than 100,000 votes in a Maricopa County that was a lot redder than it is now.  Republicans want to win and they don’t think he can do it.”

A third Republican candidate, Frank “Mike” Crawford is also running in the primary, but he reported nearly no money raised and was recently outed for forcibly sodomizing his ex-wife when they were married. RELATED ARTICLE: College Republicans United Expose Violent Past Of Maricopa County Sheriff Candidate Crawford