PHOENIX -- A week after a political opponent slammed him for failing to protect kids, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is up with a new television ad saying he's one of their biggest protectors.
The 30-second spot begins with Arpaio standing in front of two young children on a swing set.
"These kids are the future. They need strong families, good schools and safe neighborhoods to thrive," Arpaio says. "But too often they are neglected by the people they should trust the most, their parents."
The county's top lawman then brags about arresting about 2,000 deadbeat parents and recovering $13 million in back child support during his 20 years in office.
Arpaio's campaign spent about $60,000 for the ads to run on Cox Cable and DirecTV. The ad stands in sharp contrast to one that his political rival, Democrat Paul Penzone, started running last week.
That commercial focused on the more than 400 sex crimes that Arpaio's office botched during a three year period. It featured a child's voice talking molesting by her uncle.
Producers of commercial say it was based on a real story.
In trying to defeat Arpaio, Penzone is facing long odds and an unprecedented financial disadvantage.
Maricopa County leans heavily Republican, according to the latest registration numbers. In addition, Arpaio has raised over $7 million, an unheard of figure for a race of this size.
Still, will these advantages, Arpaio's political handlers say voters can expect a stream of commercials this elections cycle. Chad Willems, the sheriff's top political consultant, says the ads will focus on the sheriff's long record.