Sheriff Arpaio Wins Re-Election

Sheriff Arpaio Wins Re-election

The Associated Press, November 4, 2008

Phoenix (AP) — Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio — who embraces the 'Toughest Sheriff in America' title — rolled to victory in his fifth general election on Tuesday.

Arpaio was facing what was considered his strongest re-election challenge in years from Democrat Dan Saban, a former sheriff's deputy, Mesa police officer and Buckeye police chief.

But Arpaio beat Saban 56 percent to 41 percent with 80 percent of the precincts reporting.

Saban failed in an earlier effort to wrest the office in the state's most populous county from Arpaio, who's known for his tent city jail, where he outfits prisoners in pink underwear, feeds them green bologna and has them work on chain gangs.

In the past year, Arpaio has gotten headlines for crime sweeps that target illegal immigration, which resulted in scores of arrests after traffic stops and other minor infractions. Arpaio's office turned any arrested illegal immigrants over to federal authorities for deportation.

The tactics brought outrage from some quarters but support from residents upset about the government's failure to deal with illegal immigration.

Arpaio has been in office for 16 years and never faced a major re-election challenge.