Joe Arpaio Announces Bid to Hold Office Again, This Time as City Mayor


Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio on Tuesday announced plans to run for mayor of Fountain Hills, Arizona.

Arpaio, 89, said in a news release that he and his late wife, Ava Arpaio, moved to the Phoenix suburb over 20 years ago.

The former lawman said he wants to continue his 56 years of public service by “serving in the community he knows best.”

“Among his priorities as Mayor, Arpaio will focus on attracting new businesses to the city to create jobs and economic growth and continue his fight against illegal immigration, human smuggling, and drug trafficking. Also, reducing taxes and regulation and increasing tourism,” the news release said.

“It was an honor and privilege serving the people of Maricopa County as their Sheriff,” Arpaio said. “Now, I want to directly give something back to my hometown of Fountain Hills, Arizona, which I love, utilizing my life experience and commonsense to make Fountain Hills a better place to live.”

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Known as “America’s toughest sheriff,” Arpaio held the top law enforcement position in Maricopa County from 1993 to 2017. Maricopa encompasses the Phoenix metropolitan area, including Fountain Hills.

He lost his re-election bid in 2016 to Democrat Paul Penzone after federal prosecutors filed a misdemeanor contempt of court charge against him just days before early voting began.

The complaint alleged the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department was violating a court order regarding its handling of illegal immigrants.

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“Certainly, the timing was no accident, as Judge [G. Murray] Snow could have made this same erroneous criminal referral months — even years — prior,” Arpaio told The Western Journal in a March interview.

By choosing to file a misdemeanor charge, prosecutors circumvented the need for a jury trial, and District Judge Susan Bolton specifically denied Arpaio one. She proceeded to convict him in July 2017.

Then-President Donald Trump pardoned Arpaio the following month.

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Arpaio ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in 2018 and for Maricopa County sheriff in 2020.

He was among the first prominent Arizona officeholders to endorse Trump’s 2016 presidential bid and introduced him at a rally in Fountain Hills in the spring of that year.

Arpaio, a Massachusetts native, began his career in law enforcement as a military policeman in the U.S. Army.

He went on to serve on the police departments in Washington, D.C., and Las Vegas before becoming an agent with the Federal Bureau of Narcotics.

Arpaio stayed on with what became the Drug Enforcement Administration for 25 years, serving overseas in multiple locations and eventually overseeing DEA operations in Arizona.

The mayor of Fountain Hills serves a two-year term. The current mayor is Ginny Dickey, who was first elected in 2018 and whose current term ends in 2022.

According to the Arizona Republic, she plans to run for re-election.

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 3,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith