Recall effort against Arpaio short of time and money

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- The group attempting to recall Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said it’s facing tough odds but isn't giving up just yet.

“I take my petition with me everywhere I go, to the car wash, to the gas station, to the dentist office and doctor’s office,” said Angela Vidales. Vidales is just one of many volunteers working on behalf of Respect Arizona and the recall Sheriff Joe Arpaio campaign.

Respect Arizona has been working on the recall effort they launched against the Sheriff since last January. They were given 120 days to gather more than 335,000 signatures. With just 38 days to go, the group has 200,359 signatures.

Lilia Alvarez admits this recall effort has already cost more than $300,000 and is now running short on time and money.

“It's one signature at a time,” said Alvarez. “What people tell me is yes I want to sign or I'm too afraid to do so and that's the same for donors.”

Sheriff Joe Arpaio's campaign manager, Chad Willems said, “We always take any sort of challenge to the sheriff seriously so we've been monitoring this closely.”

The Sheriff is raising money of his own but how much is the question.

“I will tell you where ours stands if the other side tells you where they are getting their money from,” said Willems . 

Neither side is disclosing donors and dollar amounts yet but would be required to do so if a special election is called. Meantime, Respect Arizona is working against the clock to strip the Sheriff of that office.

“Absolutely we feel the pressure,” said Alvarez.