Arpaio refuses to debate competition

On Monday night, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s re-election campaign released a statement saying that he will continue his long-held tradition of debate silence. In the 12 years and three elections since he has taken office, Arpaio has not once partaken in an open forum debate. His campaign statement said simply that, “The voters of Maricopa County know the sheriff and what he stands for. His policies have been in place for 20 years.”

Arpaio’s biggest competition, Democrat Paul Penzone, criticized the decision. In a television interview, Penzone said that Arpaio “owes it to this community to not pass messaging through controlled commercials where he can state things under his terms…it’s time he had the courage to stand in front of this community and answer to a competitor.”

One of Arpaio’s loudest critics has been Republican senator John McCain. McCain says its unheard of for a candidate of this level not to take part in a debate, and that “the people deserve a debate.” “This sheriff considers himself somewhat unique,” McCain said. “I don’t think he is.”

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