‘America’s Toughest Sheriff’ Joe Arpaio Loses to Former Deputy

Joe Arpaio
Joe Arpaio lost the Republican primary for Maricopa County sheriff to his former top aide, Jerry Sheridan.

Former Arizona sheriff  Joe Arpaio, known as  “America’s toughest Sheriff,” lost the Republican primary for Maricopa County sheriff to his former chief deputy.

The Maricopa County Elections Department said Arpaio lost to Jerry Sheridan by about 6,000 votes. Sheridan will now be challenging incumbent sheriff Paul Penzone, a Democrat and former Phoenix police officer.

It was Penzone who unseated Arpaio from the sheriff position in 2016.

Arpaio was sheriff of Maricopa County for 24 years. He became known for his controversial policing tools including creating a “tent city” where he housed inmates in tents during triple-digit heat. 

After losing to Penzone, Arpaio, an avid Trump supporter, ran for the U.S. Senate in 2018 but lost to Martha McSally.

After learning of his loss, Arpaio told the local newspaper, The Arizona Republic,  that “this will be the last time I run for office.”