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No from Sheriff Joe: Arpaio won't run for governor

Joe Arpaio, sheriff of Maricopa County for five terms, announced he will not seek the Republican nomination for governor Monday.

“I am humbled by the encouragement and outpouring of support for me to run for Governor," Arpaio, 77, said in a news release.

"However, at the same time, so many have supported my campaign for re-election that I do not want to betray them by running for another office."

Arpaio told CNN he "could be the governor":

"I just don't want to leave my 4,000 dedicated employees," Arpaio said. "I am going to contribute my service and fight as the Sheriff of Maricopa County."

"I don't want to be egotistical, but I could be the governor if I ran," he boasted. "My polls are very high. I got the money. I got the polls. I got the support."

Arpaio gave conflicting signals about his decision over the past week.

Phoenix Business Journal reported Monday morning that Arpaio won't run, according to unnamed sources.

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Phoenix's KNXV-15 reported on Friday that Arpaio "will likely" run.

Arpaio has floated his name for governor before, in 1998, 2002 and 2006, but decided against a run each time.

Arpaio has been the focus of investigations by the FBI and Justice Department relating to allegations of abuses of power, political vendettas, and civil rights violations, including racial profiling.

The East Valley Tribune won a Pulitzer Prize for a 2009 investigation - "Reasonable Doubt" - of Arpaio's office that showed "lax criminal enforcement."

If Arpaio declared, he would have to resign his seat. Arizona's "resign to run" law requires officeholders who aren't in the final year of their term to resign if they seek another office.

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors would then appoint a successor.

"To leave this office open to appointment by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors of an interim Sheriff may very well put us on a path that would be extremely displeasing to the voters of this county," said Arpaio.

"I have come so far and accomplished so much in the past 18 years as sheriff that to leave now just doesn't make sense," Arpaio said.

"Right now, we are standing in the cross-hairs of history in this state and as sheriff of the most populous county in Arizona, there is much work yet to do," he said.

Others running for governor include Democratic state Attorney General Terry Goddard and Republicans Gov. Jan Brewer, Treasurer Dean Martin, Yavapai County businessman Buz Mills and Tucson attorney John Munger. Brewer succeeded Janet Napolitano in the governor's chair when Napolitano was appointed federal Homeland Security chief.

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