Election 2012: AZ Sheriff Joe Arpaio Wins Re-Election, Wants to Get Closer to Latinos

Known as the self-proclaimed “Toughest Sheriff in America,” Joe Arpaio has been re-elected over former Phoenix police Sgt. Paul Penzone in Maricopa County.

"It's my sixth time...I'm going for number seven," the Maricopa County Sheriff told FOX 5 in Phoenix.

In the same interview Tuesday night with FOX 5, Arpaio offered an olive branch to the Latino community.

"I'd like to get closer to the Latino community, if that could ever happen to try to explain what we do and get better relationships," Arpaio said.

Though he said, "I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing."

Arpaio's war against undocumented immigrants has made him a national political figure when it comes to Latino issues.  The 80-year-old law man has garnered national attention for his hard-line stance against illegal immigration. Representing a state were Latino’s account for more than 30 percent of the population. Arpaio has faced his toughest re-election campaign to date.

When the reporter suggested the race was close he responded, "Twelve percent isn't close, it's a landslide...I get 12 percent every time I run."

Arpaio’s outspoken view points helped him raise over $8 million for his re-election campaign with most of the funds coming from outside Arizona. In comparison, his Democrat opponent Paul Penzone raised just $527,000.

Arpaio has been accused of racial profiling and targeting Latino’s in his enforcement of the controversial SB 1070.

His opponent Penzone has received a wave of community support, especially among Latinos, who are looking to end Arpaio’s 20 year long run as sheriff.

Penzone is a retired police veteran who has vowed to turn the department’s attention away from the headline grabbing policies of the Arpaio administration that have alienated much of Arizona’s Latino population.

Penzone argues that Arpaio has turned the sheriff office into a political machine focused more on image than public safety.

Despite Penzone’s strong popularity among Latinos, Arpaio still won the election.

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