Joe Arpaio has quietly filed thousands of signatures to qualify for the November ballot as he seeks to win a fifth term as Maricopa County sheriff. Since last week, Arpaio has turned in more than 12,000 signatures from registered voters with the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office.
Arpaio, who is famous for seeking out the media spotlight, said he didn’t need to publicize the event as other lesser-known politicians do when they hand in their signature petitions.
“I don’t have a lot of press conferences,” said Arpaio, who has held at least three this week. “I may be down on the street where the action’s at, but I don’t have a lot of people up to my office.”
The number he has filed is far more than the 3,165 needed to get on the ballot. County elections officials said the sheriff originally filed the bulk of his signatures May 22 and has since been adding to that number.
Candidates typically turn in more signatures than necessary because some are usually disqualified when election officials are unable to verify if they are legitimate.
It’s expected that Arpaio will run against former Mesa police Cmdr. Dan Saban, a Democrat, in November’s general election.
Arpaio soundly defeated Saban four years ago in the Republican primary.
Since then, Saban has switched political parties and recently resigned as Buckeye’s police chief in order to run.
Arpaio, who was originally a Democrat, was first elected sheriff in 1992.
Although state laws place term limits on elected officials, they do no apply to county seats.
“I just might go for a sixth term,” said Arpaio, who turns 76 next month. “You never know what the future holds in politics.”