Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio Challenged by Independent Candidate Mike Stauffer

Posted by & filed under 2012 Election, An Independent Viewpoint, Independent Candidates



Move over Joe Arpaio, there’s an Independent Sheriff candidate in town!

Arizona’s Maricopa County Republican Sheriff Joe Arpaio, best known for his outspoken endorsement of the state’s extreme SB 1070 immigration policy and his investigation of President Obama’s citizenship, is being challenged by Independent candidate Mike Stauffer, a former NYPD officer and Scottsdale Police Lieutenant. Two Democratic candidates are also in the race, and one will be the party’s nominee challenging Arpaio and Stauffer after an August primary. Why is it significant that there’s an independent candidate in the race? Because it will offer a thermometer test for the temperature of Arizona’s rapidly growing faction of independent voters, and whether they’ll support Independent candidates for office.

As for why Stauffer is running as an independent candidate, we’ll let him explain in his own words:

“As a 2012 candidate for the Office of the Sheriff of Maricopa County, I have taken a public stand to encourage a non-partisan race for sheriff. Law enforcement is not about partisan politics, it is about public safety, quality of life and doing the right thing. To that end, I have refiled as an Independent. While I have been a registered Republican my entire life, I believe that the extremist positions and the attempt to insinuate those positions into law enforcement taken by the Maricopa County Republican Committee and various Republican leaders in Maricopa County are incompatible with the principles of American law enforcement. It is time to change the tone of the debate and bring real, professional, impartial law enforcement leadership back to the MCSO. This move also restores the election of the sheriff back to the people of Maricopa County as a whole and not just to a small percentage of partisan voters.”

Despite the fact that electoral math guru Nate Silver already reminded us that “Arizona is probably not a swing state” earlier this spring, independent voters currently make up the second largest voting group in the state, after the Republican Party. While Arizona politics has recently been known on a national level for Arpaio’s antics and Republican Governor Jan Brewer’s finger pointing tarmac greeting of Obama, the state isn’t as extremely conservative as one would think, at least as measured by voter demographics. The number of “mavericky” registered Independents has risen sharply by 23% since John McCain’s 2008 run for President, and now sits at 1,210,241, 34% of all registered voters. With these statistics in light, we’re happy to shine the light Stauffer’s candidacy.

Stauffer recently turned in 29,764 signatures to meet a ballot access requirement of 19,410 signatures last month, although he’ll struggle to compete in a fundraising and communications battle against Sheriff Arpaio’s massive war chest. As the Huffington Post reported:

“The sheriff’s campaign fundraising this year appears untroubled, hauling in considerable sums from people living mostly outside the state. In January, he had $3.4 million, after accounting for $2.48 million in expenses, according to his campaign finance records.”

Stauffer’s campaign will attempt to unite Arizona’s Ron Paul Republicans, Independents, and Blue Dog Democrats to pull off an upset win over Arpaio, although it’s any wonder how he plans to compete against Sheriff Joe’s massive fundraising advantage. However, with Arizona’s recent surge of registered independent voters and Arpaio’s declining popularity, who knows what’s possible in November.

Stay tuned to see if Maricopa County independents can walk the walk to the voting booth (assuming they decide to support candidate Stauffer), after talking the talk on their paperwork.

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18 Responses

    • Gail Shoultes July 24, 2012 at 7:29 pm

      If you consider yourself a fiscal conservative there is no way you can stand behind Arpaio. He has WASTED not just tens of millions of dollars, but hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars. If you live in Maricopa county you wouldn’t appreciate that either. No matter how you like his rhetoric or his stance on illegal immigration, he is NO fiscal conservative and I’m tired of paying the bill. Of course, there is that veteran of the gulf war they killed in his jail before he even got booked too. That should bother everyone.

  1. Gail Shoultes June 19, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    I can only assume Betty and Patricia like Arpaio’s stance on “illegal immigration” because there is nothing else to like. If you are a true fiscal conservative there is no way you can support Arpaio and the hundreds of millions of tax dollars he has wasted. Arpaio’s retirement is long overdue and the voters have the power to vote him out of office. I’m a life long democrat and I’m watching Stauffer reveal his specific plans to reform MCSO including CLOSING TENT CITY AT NO EXPENSE TO THE TAXPAYERS!

    • Anonymous June 21, 2012 at 2:26 am

      Sheriff Joe’s take on things such as immigration, how to run a law enforcement agency and seeking the TRUTH about issues like Obama’s eligibility is EXACTLY the kind of individual needed in most of this country. He’s down to earth, practical and uses his resources diligently. We don’t seem to have too many people of his quality and caliber in this country anymore. Too many liberal thinking fools, much like yourself!!!

      • Gail Shoultes July 15, 2012 at 9:52 am

        Anonymous you sound right wing. However, you are no fiscal conservative if you are pro Arpaio. He has wasted our precious tax dollars, hundreds of millions of tax dollars. His “brand of sheriffin’” is way too expensive for my blood. You say Arpaio “uses his resources diligently”…..what does that even mean? He is a wasteful 80 yr old egomaniac who needs to be forced into retirement in the next election. BTW name calling “liberal thinking fools” does nothing but weaken your argument. Arpaio will be ousted this November.

        • Raj September 1, 2012 at 1:21 am

          we admire you joe aaipro, if they enter breaking the law, they are criminals, period, and before you have 5 kids knowing you are illegal, you have to think there is a chance you will be separated, I think it is not fair to blame the sheriff for enforcing the law

  2. Norman Sutter June 20, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    “If it aint broke, dont fix it.” LOL!!! Anyone who can’t see how badly it’s broken is blind by choice. I would love to know what justifies the “Toughest Sheriff in America” title. Maybe some day laborer or kitchen helper is scared of him. Real criminals are NOT afraid of Arpaio and the crime stats prove it. How many unsolved murders are there in Maricopa County? Through lawsuits, misappropriations and unnecessary legal fees the MCSO has wasted enough taxpayer money to hire, train and equip over 1800 additional deputies. What do we have to show for this? A ton of bad press and some highly incompetent bozo thumping his chest in front of a television camera and claiming he’s the best in the nation. If this issue wasn’t so disturbing it would be downright hilarious.

  3. Stan Whitlock June 21, 2012 at 2:30 am

    AT EASE, Gail. This country could use a whole lot more of Sheriff Joes. Fiscal Conservative? He uses his resources wisely. As for you, it would appear that you’re a liberal thinker. When you really “think” about it…….liberals don’t really think……they are just lemmings marching to calamity.

    • Gail Shoultes July 15, 2012 at 9:59 am

      Really Stan? A man who misappropriated $100 million dollars from the jails so he can fund his “crime sweeps” that arrest dishwashers and landscapers. He is on track to cost us $300 million in lawsuits because he has no concern about the money. It’s not HIS money it’s OUR money that pays those people. People die in his jails at the hands of MCSO thugs. 7 months ago they killed a Gulf war veteran that didn’t even make it through the booking process. So, Stan, tell me how any of that equates to “uses his resources wisely”? More name calling = weak argument.

  4. American Pride June 23, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    Poor Stauffer. He must have seen that he didn’t stand any chance at all as a Republican against fellow Republican Joe Arpaio in a primary… so, after a lifetime as a Republican he wimped out and re-registerd as an Independant so he could at least make it to November. LOL
    This American of Mexican descent supports Joe Arpaio 100% and can’t wait to show it on my ballot! GO JOE!!!!!!!!!!

    *We’ll be outside of Tent City tonight to show our support for Joe and Tent City while the illegal alien/open borders supporters march their circus in protest against TC and Joe and have their vigil.

    • Irma August 29, 2012 at 8:20 pm

      we admire you joe aapiro, if they enter breaking the law, they are criminals, period, and before you have 5 kids knowing you are illegal, you have to think there is a chance you will be separated, I think it is not fair to blame the sheriff for enforcing the law


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