Huffpost Politics

Joe Arpaio Called A Chicken, Still Won't Debate

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JOE ARPAIO
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File) | AP
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A group working to oust Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio showed up to his office Wednesday with chickens, accusing him of being too scared to debate his opponents.

But Arpaio isn't budging. He told Phoenix TV station KASW that he doesn't need to debate because he has been in office long enough for the public to know his record.

"I don't have to debate the two people running against me," the Maricopa County sheriff said, KASW reported. "Maybe they can debate themselves and let the public know who they are, which they don’t."

Citizens for a Better Arizona, a progressive group led by Randy Parraz, is behind the effort to urge Arpaio to debate.

Arpaio opponent Paul Penzone told KASW he thinks Arpaio "owes it to the voters to stand next to his opponents and have the courage to answer questions."

Penzone has been especially critical of Arpaio's handling of sex crimes, some 400 of which went uninvestigated or inadequately investigated in the years leading up to 2007. Penzone released an ad in August featuring a child talking about being sexually abused.

Arpaio has also come under fire for his treatment of undocumented immigrants and a recent birther investigation into whether President Barack Obama was born in the United States.

The sheriff's approval rating fell after that investigation, a poll commissioned by Citizens for a Better Arizona reported in August.

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