Joe Arpaio loses sheriff’s Republican primary to his former deputy chief

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Arpaio lost the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Republican primary on Tuesday to his former deputy chief Jerry Sheridan by around 6,000 votes, according to the results of the Maricopa County Elections Department.

Sheridan will challenge current Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone, Democrat and former Phoenix police officer, who ousted Arpaio in 2016.

Arpaio, who calls himself “America’s toughest sheriff,” served in Maricopa County for 24 years. He gained national notoriety for his treatment of those he held in an infamous open-air prison known as “Tent City,” where he had pink underwear worn and chain gang work. . Critics said the facility was degrading for the inmates, who remained in scorching heat.

Arpaio had promised his re-election would bring back “Tent City” and some of its most controversial policing tools.

In 2017, Arpaio was found guilty of criminal contempt for ignoring a court ruling in a racial profiling case by continuing patrols targeting migrants, and faces up to six months in prison.

President Donald Trump granted his first presidential pardon that year to Arpaio, an early supporter of Trump – a move that drew fierce criticism.

Arpaio then attempted a political comeback by running for the US Senate in 2018, but lost to Martha McSally in the Republican primary.

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

Sheridan worked in the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office for 38 years before retiring as Chief Assistant. He was found guilty of civil contempt in 2016 in connection with the racial profiling case. He was not charged with criminal contempt because of the statute of limitations.

CNN’s Jennifer Henderson, Paul Le Blanc, Carma Hassan and Darran Simon contributed to this report.

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