Sheriff Joe Arpaio, an enduring symbol of Arizona’s unforgiving stance toward illegal immigration, lost his bid for a seventh term on Tuesday, effectively ending the career of perhaps the most divisive law enforcement figure in the country.This man was a cancer on law enforcement and the body politic of Arizone.
In the end, Sheriff Arpaio’s bid for re-election as sheriff of Maricopa County was undone by Latino voters who responded to his hard-line position on illegal immigration, which included workplace raids, frequent traffic stops and harsh talk.
“The people Arpaio targeted decided to target him. He lost his power when undocumented people lost their fear,” said Carlos Garcia, executive director of Puente, an advocacy group formed in 2007 to counter the sheriff’s embrace of a federal program that allowed his deputies to act as de facto immigration agents.
“We knew that losing an election was only a matter of time,” Mr. Garcia said. “For us, what is most important now is to undo the damage and culture of hate that he has brought upon this county.”
It could only get better if he dies as a prisoner in what used to be his own jail, which is possible, as he is facing a criminal contempt citation from a Federal judge.