Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone discusses political future

Nov 8, 2023, 4:25 AM | Updated: 5:49 am

Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone speaks at a press conference on the midterm elections on Novem...

Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone speaks at a press conference on the midterm elections on November 07, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. Maricopa officials spoke about election security and false and misleading information. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

(Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone, who announced he was not pursuing a third term in October, discussed why he was stepping down and whether politics is in his future.

He explained why it was time for him to move on from the job Tuesday in an interview with KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Gaydos and Chad Show. 

“I feel blessed with the privilege I’ve had and some people have a question like ‘why are you leaving something go wrong?’ No. Sometimes you leave when you feel join your heart and you know there’s an opportunity to move forward and yeah, it’s out of the political realm,” Penzone said.

He went on to say he wanted to step down from the position while things were good.

“This is all I’ve done for my entire profession and I feel like the most you know, the privilege the honor everything about it was all good,” he said.

“I just wanted to leave while it was still good. So it’s not like anything broke me anything broke my spirit. I just look back with joy and gratitude.”

Penzone will leave the office early in 2024. His successor will be chosen by The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors.

While Penzone has said he doesn’t want to be heavily involved in who his successor will be, he did have some conversations with the board.

“It’s their call, but I really wanted to be respectful to from the aspect that if they have questions and I can provide insight that’s helpful, then that’s my place,” he said. “If they’re like ‘Listen Paul we got it,’ I have basically forfeited my right to have say in that way when I chose to move on understanding it’s their responsibility. I want to be helpful to them, but I don’t want to be intrusive. So if they need me I’m here and if they don’t I respect the decision that they’ll make.”

Is Paul Penzone running for any other office?

Penzone said he couldn’t see himself as a senator or congressman.

“I hate to say never to anything but the idea of jumping on a plane every whatever Sunday coming back on Thursday to vote be one of a hundred or one of whatever the numbers of Congress people. I believe that they’re role and responsibility is significant. It’s just that I believe them, you know, I’m covering different cloth that I like to be involved in outcomes,” he said.

When asked if he would run for governor, Penzone, who is listed as a Democrat, said he has been asked by some Republicans to consider a run.

“I’m reflecting back and it’s interesting because last election I was flattered by people that I really respect and oftentimes they were Republicans came to me and asked me to consider it and I said ‘why it’s not on my heart’. Like when I ran for sheriff there was a circumstance that compelled me I felt like I wanted to see change in a space where I wasn’t happy with what I saw,” Penzone said.

“When I asked people ‘why like why you want me to do this?’ I don’t have an interest in it and they said because we believe that if you were in that office whether you know the job of Governor or not, you’ll choose the right people around you to serve this state and to reflect the best interests and needs of this state.”

“I don’t see myself getting back in politics. But I also believe that if you want to make a difference in the world, you have to be open to possibilities when the greater good presents itself and you just having to be the person who can deliver on that or at least facilitate that.”

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Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone discusses political future