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Joe Arpaio Goes Down In Arizona

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Embattled Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio has lost his bid for re-election. Arpaio, who faces multiple federal charges and possible jail time, has been the sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, for 23 years, and is the face of the region's anti-immigration fight.

“It’s going to be a new day for Arizona,” Dulce Matuz said of Arpaio’s defeat, reports ThinkProgress. “We’re not just going to be known as the state that passed anti-immigrant laws. We’re going to be the state that voted against hate and xenophobia. We can finally move on and be a state that celebrates diversity.”

"There's a new sheriff in town," Paul Penzone, a former Phoenix police sergeant who will succeed Arpaio, told a Phoenix crowd, reports The Arizona Republic.

According to ThinkProgress, Arpaio faces federal charges for criminal contempt, and possible charges of perjury and obstruction of justice.

Penzone addressed his victory crowd after the election:

I’ll never be able to repay you, other than by doing the job the right way so that your families are safe and you are respected. This will be about how you hold me accountable, how you work with me, and how we fight together to ensure that everyone — no matter your ethnicity, your race, where you come from or what you believe in — when someone in law enforcement interacts with you, they’re respectful, professional, and just.

But not all who voted for Penzone have blind loyalty to him.

“For us, it’s not about Democrats or Republicans,” Matuz said. “Republicans have done a really good job alienating Latinos, but the Democratic Party doesn’t have a strong backbone and doesn’t protect our communities. … We’ve had millions of deportations under a Democrat [President Obama]. But regardless of the results, we’ve already won, because we are no longer in fear. We have mobilized. We’ve empowered ourselves. For me, that’s already victory.”

Sources: ThinkProgress, The Arizona Republic / Photo credit: Michael Chow/The Arizona Republic 

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