Effort to recall Pima County Sheriff Dupnik

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- In the days following January's massacre at Ina and Oracle, Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik spoke out against what he calls "vitriol" in public discourse.

Political opponents didn't like it, and now there's an effort to remove him from office.

Unfortunately, Arizona, I think, has become sort of the capitol.  We have become the Mecca for prejudice and bigotry.

It was those words that got Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik into trouble. Now a recall effort is underway to remove the sheriff from office.

"When you start painting the voters of Pima County and all Tucsonans the same way and calling them racists and bigots.  That's irresponsible.  Law enforcement officers don't do that," said Dan Baltes from Americans Against Immigration.

"He needs to step down and resign and be replaced by a sheriff who does a sheriff's job and does not politicize a tragedy," said Pima County Tea Party Patriot Sherese Steffens.

The dislike of Dupnik has spread on-line.  A website calls for a recall of the outspoken lawman, but the sheriff has been elected and re-elected to his post eight times, for 32 years.  And he has a lot of supporters, as evidenced by his Facebook page.

"I think he spoke straight from his heart.  Straight from his gut," said Pima County Democratic Chair Jeff Rogers.

Rogers says Dupnik just spoke the truth.

"I think what Sheriff Dupnik is telling us is that it what we need to fight against.  That's what we've become the Mecca for," said Rogers.

In an interview Wednesday, the sheriff stands by his statements and says if people would like to recall him, bring it on.

"It's not only foolish, it's not going to happen but it would be a waste of taxpayer money if it did happen," said Rogers.

"I very much think its going to work, it's not futile at all," said Baltes.

They need 90,000 plus votes to put the recall on the ballot.

They say they're not sure if they can get those numbers, but they're sure going to try.