Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Arpaio Raises $3.5 Million During/After Failed Recall Effort; Step Aside, Seagal! (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio raised more than $3.5 Million during and after last year's failed recall effort, according to a press release from his 2016 re-election campaign manager.  Arpaio sees it as an indication that he should give "serious consideration" to entering the already-crowded Republican race for Arizona Governor this year.

The campaign finance report for the 13-month period from November 27, 2012 through December 31, 2013 is not due until the end of this month, and has not yet been posted on the County's website.  But, Arpaio campaign manager Chad Willems released the numbers today, saying that he "continue(s) to be blown away" by the support.

Arizona's Politics has asked Willems for a breakdown of how much of the support came in response to the failed recall effort last Spring.  The recall effort was the subject of many fundraising e-mails from the Sheriff and his wife.

(UPDATE, 12:00pm: Willems tells Arizona's Politics that the report has been filed with the County Recorder's Office (this morning), and that about $2M of the contributions came during the period that the recall was at issue.)

The ongoing legal battles regarding the MCSO being found by a federal judge to have engaged in racially-biased policing has also been a fundraising "hook".  Arpaio and the MCSO recently wrote a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder demanding that the federal government pay $38 Million for costs associated with the Melendres case and ensuring that the Sheriff's Office does not racially profile in the future.

For his part, Arpaio sees the fundraising numbers as a sign that he should consider jumping into the already-crowded GOP primary field to replace Jan Brewer as Governor:  "“Every four years, my supporters encourage me to run for Governor. Based on these fundraising numbers and knowing I could be competitive, I will have to give it serious consideration.”

(Arpaio friend and actor Steven Seagal also publicly toyed with the idea of running for Governor, earlier this month.)

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