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Group launches Arpaio recall effort

Group launches Arpaio recall effort
Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio (L), campaigning for Republican president hopeful Rick Perry in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Dec. 27, 2011. UPI/Mike Theiler | License Photo

PHOENIX, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- A campaign to recall Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio has begun, a co-founder of an activist group said.

The political group Respect Arizona filed paperwork with the Arizona Secretary of State's office to launch the campaign, The Arizona Republic reported Friday.

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Randy Parraz, co-founder of the group Citizens for a Better Arizona -- which unsuccessfully waged a "Joe's Got to Go" effort to defeat Arpaio in his re-election bid in 2012 -- said Respect Arizona would file financial reports after it begins soliciting donations.

Citizens for a Better Arizona said on its website Arpaio -- the six-term self-proclaimed "Toughest Sheriff in America" -- has allowed local law enforcement "to take a back seat to publicity stunts," allowed tax dollars to be wasted on litigation after arrests by sheriff's officers and abused authority for personal and vindictive reasons.

Respect Arizona must collect 350,000 valid signatures within 120 days to force a recall election, petition gatherers said.

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