Arpaio May Be Considering Run For Governor

Arpaio may be considering run for governor

By Mike Sunnucks
The Phoenix Business Journal, September 3, 2009

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio could be considering a run for governor in 2010, according to rumblings around town.

The Republican sheriff has toyed with the idea, but never pulled the trigger on a gubernatorial run.

Arpaio, 77, was elected to his fifth term as sheriff in November despite his image as a polarizing figure in the state.

Arpaios name comes up as Gov. Jan Brewer struggles to close a budget deal with the Legislature and her popularity among conservatives wanes after backing a sales tax increase referendum. State Treasurer Dean Martin also is pondering a run against Brewer in next years GOP primary.

Jason Rose, a political consultant who does work for the sheriff, said Arpaio is popular and could be formidable in next years governors race.

'Anyone with polling numbers like the sheriff must be taken seriously. And 2010 will be the year when wearing the badge of state government will be a political scarlet letter,' Rose said.

Arpaios crime sweeps and raids on businesses suspected of hiring undocumented workers endear him to those who favor a get-tough approach to immigration, but prompt criticism from others, including Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon.

Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard is expected to be the Democratic nominee for governor next year.

One complication to a possible Arpaio run is a state law requiring those running for a new office to step down from their current post.