Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone faces retired Chief Deputy Jerry Sheridan in Tuesday's election

Posted at 7:49 PM, Nov 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-02 21:52:25-05

First-term Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone faces a challenge by retired Chief Deputy Jerry Sheridan in Tuesday's election.

It's the first time since 1988 Joe Arpaio is not on the ballot to be Maricopa County Sheriff.

Penzone, a former Phoenix police sergeant, beat Arpaio in a highly contested 2016 race. Sheridan beat Arpaio in the Republican primary earlier this year.

Penzone took over an office with a history of civil rights violations, uninvestigated sex crimes, and misspending.

He worked to improve compliance with federal court orders to ensure fair, non-biased policing of Latinos. Penzone told ABC15 he brought integrity back the office and rebuilt trust with the community.

Jerry Sheridan worked nearly 40 years at MCSO including as chief deputy under Arpaio. He retired when Arpaio lost the 2016 election. Sheridan was held in civil contempt of court along with his old boss for failing to follow a judge's orders in the Melendres racial profiling case.

Sheridan told ABC15 MCSO has suffered under Penzone with poor morale and high employee turnover. He also plans to revamp Arpaio-era programs like the posse and animal cruelty investigations.