PHOENIX, AZ - In his latest TV ad, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio touts his office's success in rounding up so-called deadbeat dads.
"These kids are the future," Arpaio says in the ad, referring to children behind him on a swing set. "They need strong families, good schools and safe neighborhoods to thrive. But too often they are neglected by the people they should trust the most, their parents."
Arpaio's ad comes less than two weeks after an ad by Democrat Paul Penzone that showed an empty swing set .
"I think he's trying to respond to the fact that we brought to the focus of our community," said Penzone in an interview with ABC15 Friday afternoon.
Penzone's ad from earlier this month attacked Arpaio for failing to investigate hundreds of sexual abuse cases in El Mirage.
Arpaio's ad, on the other hand, portrays him as an advocate for children.
"It's why my deputies have arrested more than 2,000 deadbeat parents returning over 13-million-dollars to families in the form of child support," Arpaio says in the TV spot.
A spokesperson for Arpaio's campaign tells ABC15 they'll spend $60,000 on airtime for their ad.
Arpaio's camp claims Penzone's ad has virtually no money behind it and that the spot "got more coverage from news airing the ad, than actual spots purchased."
"I think it's shameful that instead of answering to the failure and addressing the problem that he failed families and children, he's more interested in talking about the dollars behind a campaign," said Penzone.
Arpaio's spokesperson says they filmed their spot in July, and therefore isn't a response to Penzone's ad.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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