(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin,File)

Recall effort against Sheriff Joe Arpaio falls short in signatures, fails

A recall effort against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has failed.

Organizers of the recall said that they couldn’t collect enough voter signatures to recall the polarizing sheriff. In order to force a recall election, organizers needed more than 335,000 valid voter signatures by 5 p.m. Thursday. Although organizers have not revealed the number of signatures they gathered, as of last Thursday they had 200,000 signatures.

“It is a sad day,” recall campaign manager Lilia Alvarez told the Associated Press. “It is a disappointment.”

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Arpaio issued a statement in response to the failed effort, thanking the people of Maricopa County for supporting him.

“This effort failed because the good people of Maricopa County, whom I’m honored to serve, rejected the wrong-headed idea of overturning an election,” he said.

The ever-controversial Sheriff also slammed organizers for not releasing the number of signatures they did receive, saying that they did not do so because they were “embarrassed by the level of their failure.”

Last week a federal judge ruled that Arpaio violated Latino’s civil rights by systematically singling them out in immigration patrols. The self-proclaimed “toughest sheriff in America” has denied the allegations.

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The recall effort began just weeks after the 80-year-old Republican sheriff started his sixth term in January. His November re-election race marked the second closest contest in his 20-year political career.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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