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Penzone: Campaigns should focus on what candidates stand for

(Flickr/Gage Skidmore)

PHOENIX — Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone won’t endorse any political candidates, but he will endorse a certain campaign style.

Penzone told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Mac & Gaydos on Tuesday he’d like to see more candidates campaign on their personal merits rather than their opponent’s misgivings.

“Nothing would make me happier than to see more folks who are elected to lead by example and focus on more who they are what they stand for in a genuine manner,” Penzone said.

“So that if you’re fortunate enough to be successful and be elected, people know who they picked as opposed to any kind of misrepresentation.”

Penzone, a Democrat, won the 2016 sheriff’s election over incumbent and Republican Joe Arpaio running on that platform.

Fellow Democrat Kyrsten Sinema defeated Republican Martha McSally for Arizona’s open U.S. Senate seat in this election on a similar platform.

Penzone didn’t endorse Sinema because he doesn’t know her well and says he doesn’t want to politicize his position.

“I don’t know what the trend is. I don’t know if it’s necessarily political in nature,” Penzone said. “I just hope that it is quality of character versus any other factors and that is not me making any statement related to that senatorial race that’s just my general statement.”

Penzone added that about $15 million was spent on political ads during his 2016 campaign.

He said he’d rather that money be used on the public for things like education, drug recovery and health.

“I don’t care what party you’re attached to,” Penzone said. “I hope you’re more invested in people than politics and that if you’re successful, it’s because you care about others and will do the job the right way.”

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