The effort to recall “America’s toughest sheriff,” Maricopa County, Arizona’s Joe Arpaio, fell short of the 355,000 voter signatures needed by yesterday afternoon.
Arpaio reacted to the outcome in a statement.
The recall campaign was launched by Respect Arizona and Citizens for a Better Arizona, which protested the sheriff’s aggressive approach to stopping illegal immigration, charging his office targets people on the basis of race, in violation of the Constitution.
Respect Arizona said it believes “our children deserve a sheriff that respects families, respects immigrants and respects Latinos.”
Randy Parraz, president of Citizens for Better Arizona, told the Los Angeles Times the two groups had nearly 300,000 signatures by the 5 p.m. deadline Thursday. He said the setback won’t slow down Arpaio’s critics, vowing “this fight is not over.”
In support of Arpaio, whose backers are as passionate as his enemies, a group called Citizens to Protect Fair Election Results was formed.
The group’s attorney Larry Klayman, founder of Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch, said “dangerous, subversive-like activities of Respect Arizona have the potential to launch this county and possibly the entire state in what can only be called an ‘Electoral Civil War’ that could cost the citizens of Arizona millions of taxpayer dollars.”
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