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Democrat Paul Penzone wins reelection as Maricopa County sheriff

Paul Penzone (Flickr/Gage Skidmore)

PHOENIX – With an insurmountable lead three days after Election Day, Democrat Paul Penzone will remain Maricopa County sheriff for a second term.

“The work is not yet done, but with all that has been accomplished the future is bright,” Penzone said in a statement. “I am honored and privileged to continue to serve the people of Maricopa County and lead the brave men and women of the MCSO for another term.”

As of results released Friday morning, Penzone was leading Republican challenger Jerry Sheridan by more than the estimated 200,000 yet to be counted in Arizona’s most populous county.

Penzone’s lead was 1,024,421-800,091, giving him a 12-percentage point romp.

The Democrat was originally elected to the position in 2016 when he topped longtime Republican Sheriff Joe Arpaio by more than 10 percentage points.

In the August primary, Sheridan edged out Arpaio by 1.7 points to win the Republican nomination. Arpaio had held the position for more than two decades before Penzone defeated him.

Since taking office in 2016, Penzone has done away with some of Arpaio’s controversial programs and policies, like Tent City jail, which Penzone closed and tore down in 2017.

During his campaign, Penzone pledged to continue to rehabilitate the reputation and priorities of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheridan, who previously worked closely with Arpaio for more than 20 years, pledged during his campaign to reinstate some of the longtime policies that Arpaio had previously put in place.

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