Sheriff Arpaio adds big money to his campaign war chest

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio  released his latest campaign finance report Wednesday and once again he raked in big money.

The sheriff raised more than $600,000 over the past two months, bringing his total to roughly $7.5 million for the entire campaign.

Arpaio has spent about $3.4 million so far, which still leaves him with $4.1 million cash on hand.

This kind of money is unprecedented for a candidate running in a local race.  By contrast, Arpaio is massively outraising and outspending his chief political rivals.

Democrat Paul Penzone has raised about $225,000 so far. And Independent candidate Mike Stauffer last reported raising about $46,000.

Chad Willems, Arpaio's top political handler, says about three out of every four dollars are coming from out of state donors.

Although Arpaio has won re-election by big numbers in the past, Willems says, "the sheriff is not going to take anything for granted."

Arpaio has managed to raise the money despite a federal investigation and a separate trial accusing his office of racial profiling.

Arpaio, who recently turned 80, is attempting to win a sixth-term in office. When he was first elected in 1992, Arpaio pledged to serve only one-term.

During that same campaign, Arpaio also supported the idea that the sheriff should be an appointed position and not an elected one.