McCain & Sheriff Arpaio|Survive Primary Fights

PHOENIX (CN) — Arizona Sen. John McCain and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio survived Republican primary challenges Tuesday despite declining poll numbers.
     McCain received 52 percent of the vote in unofficial returns, holding off a challenge from former State Sen. Kelli Ward. Ward, a Tea Party favorite, garnered 39 percent of the vote, and two other candidates combined for 10 percent.
     McCain, a five-term senator and chairman of the Armed Services Committee, appeared to be in danger last year when a Public Policy Polling survey showed he had a 50 percent disapproval rate among Republican primary voters.
     McCain will face Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick in November. Kirkpatrick, whose 1st Congressional District covers an enormous area of northeastern Arizona, raised more than $1 million for her campaign from July 1 through Aug. 10, nearly twice the $550,000 McCain reported. McCain has $5 million in overall contributions, though, compared to Kirkpatrick’s $2.2 million.
     Sheriff Joe Arpaio held off three opponents Tuesday, taking 66 percent of the vote.
     He will square off in November against Paul Penzone, a retired Phoenix police officer who lost to Arpaio by six points in 2012.
     An eight-year old racial profiling case that led a federal judge to refer Arpaio for criminal contempt charges this month did not appear to hurt him in the primary, though it may cause the six-term sheriff problems in November.
     A July poll conducted by the Lincoln Strategy Group showed Penzone ahead of Arpaio, 52.3 percent to 47.7 percent.
     In a class action filed in 2007, U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow found “America’s Toughest Sheriff” and his deputies profiled Latinos and unlawfully detained them during crime-suppression sweeps. Snow referred Arpaio to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for possible criminal contempt charges in late-August, finding he’d subverted Snow’s orders to turn over evidence in the case, and violated other court orders.
     The Attorney’s Office recused itself on Friday, citing “conflicts of interest or the appearance of conflicts of interest pertaining to the matter.” The Department of Justice will decide whether to press the contempt charges.

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