Arpaio fundraising email claims recall effort

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(Source: KPHO/KTVK) (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
(AP Photo/Ross Franklin) (AP Photo/Ross Franklin)
(Source: KPHO/KTVK) (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is planning to run for re-election, and he's trying something new when it comes to collecting money from supporters. 

His political adviser on Thursday wrote a fundraising email to supporters with the following subject line: "They're trying to recall me."

However, there is no official effort to recall the sheriff. 

"I just don't think it's misleading," Chad Willems, Arpaio's political adviser, said. "You have a group that's out there, that has tried to recall the sheriff before. You have groups talking about doing it again. And now you have a major newspaper, a media outlet out there, advocating for this."

The message is just the latest to Arpaio supporters, most of them with provocative subject lines like "hate mail" and "Look at the names you and I are being called." So far, the strategy has worked. Arpaio has raised more than $4.5 million and expects to exceed $8 million by this time next year.

Democratic attorney Dan Barr believes Arpaio has other things to worry about, like his contempt of court hearing.

"His biggest problem is that he's facing a potential felony charge," Barr said. "If he's convicted of that, he'll be removed from office. Nobody is trying to recall him from office."

Barr said the sheriff's aggressive fundraising strategy shows a desperate politician trying to hang onto power.

"For whatever reason, Sheriff Joe Arpaio has an active imagine that's not tied to reality," Barr said.

Copyright 2015 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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