Group fails in bid to recall Ariz. sheriff

A campaign to force a recall election against the polarizing sheriff of metropolitan Phoenix has failed.

Susan Islas waits to collect signatures in an effort to recall Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Wednesday, May 29, 2013 in downtown Phoenix. Organizers of a campaign aimed at ousting Arpaio face a deadline Thursday afternoon for handing signatures to force a recall election against the lawman. Recall organizers, who had trouble raising contributions and had to rely on volunteers rather than paid professionals to sign up supporters, face long odds in turning in more than 335,000 valid voter signatures. Arpaio critics are hoping a court ruling last week that Arpaio's office has racially profiled Latinos would draw out more supporters for their cause. (AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX (AP) -- A campaign to force a recall election against the polarizing sheriff of metropolitan Phoenix has failed.

Organizers of the recall effort against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio say they didn't gather the more than 335,000 valid voter signatures needed by 5 p.m. Thursday to force a recall election.

They said they didn't turn in the collected signatures because they didn't want the county to waste taxpayer money trying to verify signatures if they didn't hit their mark.

The recall group struggled to raise funds, had to rely on a mostly volunteer workforce to collect signatures and mounted a campaign against a politician who has a base of devoted supporters.

Arpaio supporters say the sheriff won his sixth term in November fair and square.

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