Sorry, Everyone -- Joe Arpaio Is Not Running For Governor

05/22/2014 01:18 pm ET | Updated May 22, 2014

"America's Toughest Sheriff" Joe Arpaio is not running for governor of Arizona.

Arpaio announced his decision Thursday morning.

"I cannot in good conscience leave the sheriff's office now, since that would be necessary if I declare a candidacy for governor," Arpaio said in a press release. "Currently, I have several sensitive investigations in progress and am facing many challenges in my office. Because of this, I will not desert the people of Maricopa County who have elected me six times. Further, I cannot desert my dedicated employees."

Arpaio confirmed he would run for sheriff again in 2016, noting he's already raised over $4.2 million for his campaign.

He also said he's certain he "would have won" if he'd run for governor, but noted 2014 "wasn't in my cards."

Arpaio previously teased that he was thinking of running for governor, saying in March he was "still considering" the move.

In March, Gov. Jan Brewer announced she plans to retire at the end of her current term.

"There does come a time to pass the torch of leadership, so after completing this term in office I will be doing just that," Brewer said. "While I will no longer be governor after this year, I will remain a proud cheerleader and champion for this state that I love so dearly."

Arpaio was elected to his sixth term as sheriff for the Phoenix metropolitan area in November 2012, having served as sheriff since 1993. As sheriff, Arpaio has been accused of racial profiling, abuse of prisoners and failure to investigate sex crimes

Arizona's Republican gubernatorial primary will be held Aug. 26.

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