Sheriff Joe Arpaio makes off with just 50.7% of the vote - FOX 10 News |

Sheriff Joe Arpaio makes off with just 50.7% of the vote

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50.7 percent -- that's the final count for Sheriff Joe Arpaio's election victory, now that all the votes have been counted.

A victory, yes, but 50.7 is the smallest percentage of the vote he's ever received – and it's the smallest margin of victory over an opponent he's ever had.

It means nearly half of Maricopa County wanted him out in favor of Democratic candidate Paul Penzone.

No one would call this a mandate by voters, but the vote this time around is a far cry from the dominating victories of the past.

"What do you want me to win by a 100 percent all the time? That's not going to happen," Sheriff Arpaio told us. "Why would I be concerned, I'm still the sheriff."

Still, some of his critics are encouraged by that 50.7 percent. While they couldn't oust him from the office he'd held for 20 years, some say it's a sign that support for his tactics is dwindling.

Arpaio disagrees with that assessment, but is striking a different tone as of late.

"I want to reach out to the Hispanic community and try to let them talk to the sheriff," he says. "I got a job to do, I have to continue to do it but I have to get to the community, see what their problems are and explain why we do it."

And yet another sign the sheriff seems mostly unfazed by the vote total?

"I'm running again in 2016 no doubt about that."

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