Sheriff Joe Arpaio, One of the Biggest Xenophobes in America, Loses Reelection Bid
In Maricopa, County, Arizona, controversial sheriff Joe Arpaio, one of Donald Trump's most prominent surrogates, quietly lost his reelection bid to a former Phoenix policeman, Democrat Paul Penzone.
The bright spot amid the darkness of a looming Trump presidency was not lost on the Maricopa County Democratic Party, which took the opportunity to celebrate what it hopes to be a historic change in law enforcement.
"I just wanted to say I know all of you have been waiting for this for a long time and I wanted to say the next six words: There's a new sheriff in town!" Penzone announced after being introduced by the party's chair.
"I can't tell you what an honor it is to be here with you... I'm surrounded by people who care about this community... I can't tell you how many times I was approached [after the 2012 election] and asked, are you going to run again?" Penzone admitted.
"We've made a statement across the nation," Penzone announced.
"Arizona stands for something greater, that no matter where we come from or what we look like or what our beliefs, we're all entitled to respect and in that same thing I want you to understand that I came from a law enforcement background and I pursued this because I want to restore that respect, that transparency and that confidence in the Maricopa County sheriff's office, because the men and women in the uniforms, they deserve it and this community deserves it," he told the Maricopa audience.
During Arpaio's 23 years in office, the former sheriff was accused of racial profiling, misuse of funds, failure to investigate sex crimes, improper clearance of cases, unlawful enforcement of immigration laws and election law violations; charges that eventually ended up costing the county upwards of $140 million.
The new sheriff promised to work with the community to reduce crime and move in a new direction of leadership.
"We want our sons to see law enforcement [differently]... to know that law enforcement is there to care for them while holding them accountable and that collectively we are one in the same," he said.
A Clinton campaign sign that read "Arizona Together" hung behind him.