For far too long, the people of Maricopa County have paid the price for Sheriff Joe Arpaio's arrogance and abuses of power.
He's cost us hundreds of millions of dollars as taxpayers, and he's painted our county with a reputation of intolerance, bigotry, and overt racism. Residents of minority communities – most of whom are U.S citizens – have lived in fear of his agency for years.
Arpaio's antics, formerly seen as entertaining by much of the national media, are now seen for what they truly are: the actions of a vindictive, mean-spirited, petty man.
Nothing shows this more than the shocking admission, by Arpaio himself under oath on the witness stand, that he hired a private investigator to dig up dirt on the wife of the very federal judge who has found Arpaio in contempt of a federal court order.
In addition to civil contempt of court, will we now see Arpaio facing criminal intimidation and obstruction of justice charges?
Enough. The people of Maricopa County have endured far more than we deserve.
Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Gallardo says, "Sheriff Arpaio has a long history of using specious investigations to intimidate his political enemies – including elected officials, journalists and judges – and it has cost the taxpayers millions. So in that sense it’s not surprising. But the Sheriff has really bitten off more than he can chew doing this with a federal judge. He is in very real danger not only of losing his job but his freedom. At the very least he should resign and stop embarrassing his department and the taxpayers who have had to pay for all of this malfeasance."
Unfortunately, our experience shows that Arpaio will not likely go anywhere until we force him to go.
This is why we need to stand strong and united, determined to defeat Arpaio. We continue to speak up and work against his outrageous conduct, and we prepare ourselves to run the strongest candidate and campaign possible to send him into permanent retirement.
Former Gov. Raul Castro, Arizona's only governor of Latino heritage, has passed away at the age of 98.
Gov. Castro was born in Cananea, Sonora, Mexico and immigrated with his family to Arizona when he was 10 years old.
Overcoming the challenges of poverty and discrimination while growing up, Gov. Castro leaves an example of dignity and selfless service to our state and country.
Gov. Castro was elected Pima County Attorney and subsequently a Superior Court judge. He served as ambassador to El Salvador, Bolivia, and Argentina.
Closest to the hearts of his fellow Arizonans, he was elected our 14th governor in 1974.
Today, we mourn his passing as we remember his legacy of service and accomplishment. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.
With deepest respect,
Chair, Maricopa County Democratic Party