PHOENIX - Unofficial election figures show that Joe Arpaio, the 90-year-old former Maricopa County Sheriff who was a once powerful political figure, has been defeated in a race for the mayorship of Fountain Hills.
On the afternoon of Aug. 10, Maricopa County elections officials announce, in a statement, that final results from the election on Aug. 2 have been posted, and that the county's Board of Supervisors will canvass the voting results on August 15. The results, once canvassed, will become official.
Under the final, unofficial results, as posted on Aug. 10, Arpaio received 5,207 votes, or 49% of the votes cast. His opponent, incumbent mayor Ginny Dickey, received 5,420 votes, or 51% of the votes cast.
Arpaio announced campaign in 2021
Arpaio has lived in Fountain Hills for decades, and the mayoral campaign was Arpaio's third try for an elected position since his failed re-election campaign for Maricopa County Sheriff in 2016. He announced his mayoral candidacy in October 2021.
"I can bring to Fountain Hills one thing: life experience. I worked all over the world, dealt with presidents, on and on. So I have life experience, and I think I have a little common sense," said Arpaio at the time. "Why I continue? What do you want me to do? Go fishing? Go golfing? I don’t do anything. My hobby is work. I've done that my whole life. I’m not stopping now."
The stakes for Arpaio in the mayoral election were smaller than when he served as the top law enforcement officer for Maricopa County. For this particular election, Arpaio was seeking the top leadership post in a community of about 24,000 on the edge of metro Phoenix.
Arpaio, a skilled political fundraiser who spent more than $12 million in his 2016 sheriff's campaign, reportedly shelled out $161,000 in the mayor's race -- six times the amount spent by Dickey.
Dickey said that when she first learned Arpaio was running against her, she was unsure how his candidacy would affect the race. She ultimately concluded that it didn't change it very much except that he has a fundraising advantage and notoriety and she did not change her campaigning.
"I believe I have run in the same way I always have," Dickey said.
Arpaio ran for Senate, Sheriff following 2016 defeat
OThis election marks Arpaio's fourth electoral defeat in recent years.
In 2016, Arpaio, who ran for a seventh term as Maricopa County Sheriff in 2016, was defeated by current Sheriff Paul Penzone.
Since then, he ran in a number of political races, including the Republican Party primary for Arizona's Senate seat in 2018, where state figures show he came in third, behind Martha McSally and Kelli Ward.
In 2020, he ran in the GOP primary for his old job as sheriff, ultimately losing to his former right-hand man, Jerry Sheridan. Sheridan went on to be lose the election to Penzone, who ran for a second term.
Once again, the results are not considered to be official until they are canvassed by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors.
The Associated Press (AP) contributed to this report.