Arpaio lost the Republican area code for the Maricopa County sheriff on Tuesday to his former deputy Jerry Sheridan with around 6,000 votes. This is evident from the results of the Maricopa County Electoral Department.
Sheridan will challenge current Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone, a Democrat and ex-Phoenix police officer who ousted Arpaio in 2016.
Arpaio, who calls himself “America’s toughest sheriff,” served Maricopa County for 24 years. He gained national fame for treating those he held in an infamous outdoor prison called “Tent City,”
; where he made people wear pink underwear and work in chain gangs. Critics said the facility was degrading to inmates who stayed in scorching heat.
Arpaio had promised that his re-election would bring back “Tent City” and some of its most controversial police operations.
In 2017, Arpaio was found guilty of criminal contempt for ignoring a court order in a Racial Profiling case by continuing to patrol migrants and facing a prison sentence of up to six months.
President Donald Trump apologized to Arpaio, an early Trump supporter, for the first time earlier this year – a decision that drew heavy criticism.
Arpaio then attempted a political comeback by running for the U.S. Senate in 2018, but lost to Martha McSally in Republican elementary school.
Upon hearing of his loss, Arpaio told the Arizona Republic that “this will be the last time I will run for office”.
Sheridan served in the Maricopa County sheriff’s office for 38 years before retiring as vice chairman. He was found in 2016 in civil contempt in connection with the racial profiling case. He was not charged with criminal contempt for statute of limitations.