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Arpaio not running for governor, Republic says

From our Gannett big brother up north:

by JJ Hensley
The Arizona Republic

Sheriff Joe Arpaio will not run for governor, announcing Monday that he and will remain Maricopa County’s top cop for at least two more years.

The decision ends months of speculation, much of it fueled by Arpaio himself, that he would resign from the Sheriff’s Office to run for the state’s top elective office.

Arpaio’s decision to remain sheriff was heavily influenced by the role the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors would play in naming his successor, potentially reshaping the Sheriff’s Office.

Arpaio said he was being loyal to the office’s longtime employees.

Had Arpaio resigned, county supervisors would have had to appoint a successor, just as they did when Rick Romley was named interim county attorney to fill former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas’ seat when Thomas resigned to run for attorney general.

The prospect of supervisors appointing Arpaio’s successor, and the personnel changes that would follow in the Sheriff’s Office, was too much for Arpaio to risk if he were to run for governor.

Arpaio has battled the supervisors and county administrators for the better part of two years over budget issues, and launched criminal investigations into two members of the Board of Supervisors, Don Stapley and Mary Rose Wilcox.

Instead of running for governor, Arpaio will finish out his fifth term in office and begin preparing for a sixth sheriff’s campaign in 2012.

Arpaio already has more than $2 million in campaign contributions, according to his political consultant.

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