Arpaio considering run for governor

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By Erin Kennedy By Erin Kennedy

PHOENIX -- Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said he is seriously considering running for governor of Arizona.

Arpaio made the statement Wednesday in a press release in which his re-election campaign announced its fundraising haul for 2013.

The Elect Sheriff Joe Arpaio committee raised more than $3.5 million in the last 12 months, setting a fundraising record for a county race, according to Chad Willems, Arpaio's campaign manager. He said the committee collected more than 78,000 contributions.

"We continue to be blown away by the depth and breadth of support for Sheriff Joe," Willems said. "These numbers tell the story that the sheriff and his policies are more popular than ever."

"I am so grateful for the outpouring of support from so many generous people," Arpaio said. "It emboldens me to know that my supporters are there for me especially when faced with a recall election and being maliciously targeted by the federal government just for doing my job."

Arpaio was re-elected to a sixth term as sheriff in November 2012.

Based on the fundraising total, Arpaio said he would consider running for governor.

"Every four years, my supporters encourage me to run for governor," Arpaio said. "Based on these fundraising numbers and knowing I could be competitive, I will have to give it serious consideration."