Former sheriff Joe Arpaio loses Arizona primary in bid to win back old job

Former sheriff Joe Arpaio loses Arizona primary in bid to win back old job
Joe Arpaio lost the Republican primary in Maricopa County, Arizona, failing in his bid to regain the sheriff's post he held for 24 years. (Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Joe Arpaio, the former Arizona sheriff whose controversial immigration tactics drew international attention, was narrowly defeated in a primary in his bid for re-election in Maricopa County.

Arpaio, 88, lost Tuesday’s Republican primary to his former chief deputy, Jerry Sheridan, The New York Times reported. Sheridan won 37% of the vote in a three-way race, while Arpaio took 36%. Sheridan’s lead is 6,280 votes, but with only 2,385 ballots remaining to be counted out of 420,000 cast, it appears Arpaio’s effort to regain the job he held for 24 years has failed, the Times reported.

Mike Crawford finished in third place, KSAZ reported.

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Sheridan will face the incumbent Sheriff Paul Penzone, a Democrat who defeated Arpaio in the 2016 general election, the television station reported.

It was Arpaio’s third electoral defeat in four years. After losing to Penzone in 2016, Arpaio was beaten in a three-way race for a U.S. Senate seat in 2018, losing to Martha McSally and Kelli Ward, KSAZ reported.

Arpaio was convicted of contempt in federal court in July 2017 after the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office continued to carry out immigration patrols after a judge ordered them halted. He was later pardoned by President Donald Trump.