- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, seeking re-election to his sixth term as the chief law enforcement officer in Phoenix, has raised more than $7.5 million in campaign contributions, including more than $600,000 over the past two months.

According to campaign finance disclosure forms filed Wednesday, the self-proclaimed “America’s Toughest Sheriff” said the new donation totals covered a period of June 1 through Aug. 8.

“I am incredibly grateful for the help I’ve received from my supporters. Every day I’m approached by people I don’t even know that want to write a check and volunteer,” the sheriff said in a statement.

Sheriff Arpaio’s campaign manager, Chad Willems, said the level of support the campaign has received in just two months “was beyond our wildest expectations.” In the face of what he called the “outright distortion” of the sheriff’s record and the “extreme and unprecedented” vandalism of his campaign signs, supporters are continuing to contribute, “stepping up and saying, ‘Enough is enough.’”

“We are not letting up,” Mr. Willems said.

The sheriff faces a judgment ruling in a trial that ended earlier this month in which he and his office were accused of racial profiling and discrimination against Hispanics. The judge has yet to rule. Sheriff Arpaio also faces similar allegations from the Obama administration Justice Department in a separate lawsuit.

His opponent, Paul Penzone, a Democrat, is a 21-year veteran of the Phoenix Police Department who vows to usher in “a new era of fiscal responsibility” and “make public safety the highest priority — above posturing, politics or publicity.”