Sheriff Paul Penzone Declares Victory, Sets Record For Most Votes Ever For County Official

By Scott Bourque
Published: Friday, November 6, 2020 - 2:02pm
Updated: Friday, November 6, 2020 - 5:12pm

Paul Penzone and Jerry Sheridan
Allan Henry, Dee Lawn
Paul Penzone and Jerry Sheridan are running for Maricopa County sheriff.

Joe Biden is expected to shatter the national popular vote record once all the votes are counted. But an election in Maricopa County is also record-breaking.

Sheriff Paul Penzone earned more than 1 million votes in Tuesday’s election — more than any of the presidential or U.S. Senate candidates.

That breaks the record for most votes earned by a single candidate ever in Maricopa County history, his campaign said.

Campaign spokesperson Sophie O’Keefe-Zelman said the Penzone campaign is declaring victory, even without all the votes counted.

"Looking at the numbers, we have a pretty decisive victory," she said. As of Friday morning, Penzone's lead over Sheridan was a little more than 224,000 votes, with about 238,000 left to be counted.

Penzone currently has about 112,000 more votes than President Trump, indicating some degree of bipartisan support.

"The one place that we shouldn't be divided is over effective law enforcement and public safety," she said.

O'Keefe-Zelman said the Penzone campaign believes Arizonans wanted to keep a local sheriff who wasn’t making international headlines.

“A lot of us from Arizona have had that experience, where, we’re traveling or somewhere else and when we say we’re from Arizona, people say, ‘Oh, that’s where you have that sheriff with pink underwear and nonsense,'" she said. "It’s so nice, I think, no matter what party you’re a part of, to be able to say, ‘That’s not us anymore. We got rid of that guy. We’re keeping the new guy who’s doing a great job.’”

Penzone’s vote record makes him the only candidate in Maricopa County to earn more votes than either presidential candidate during the last two general elections.

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