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Joe Arpaio, Jerry Sheridan battle in tight Maricopa County primary

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX – Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his former chief deputy Jerry Sheridan were in a tight race Tuesday night for the Maricopa County Sheriff primary election.

With about 45% of precincts reporting early Wednesday, Sheridan led with 37% of the votes to Arpaio’s 36%, according to preliminary results Tuesday from the Maricopa County Elections Department.

The two were separated by 572 votes.

Mike Crawford, a Glendale police officer, had 26%.

Mesa security guard Lehland Burton was also a write-in candidate. Information about his percentage of the vote garnered was not immediately available.

If Sheridan retains his lead over Arpaio, he’ll face Democratic incumbent Paul Penzone, who ran unopposed and handily beat Arpaio in 2016.

It would also mark the second failed political comeback try for Arpaio in two years. He finished third in a 2018 U.S. Senate primary.

Over the last seven years, the sheriff’s office has been undergoing a court-ordered overhaul after a judge ruled deputies had racially profiled Latinos in Arpaio’s immigration patrols.

The civil contempt findings against Arpaio and Sheridan were made in the profiling case.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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