Rick Romley Endorses Democrats Dan Saban & Tim Nelson for County Offices
Long-running Feud with Arpaio, Thomas Key Factor
A multi-year feud with Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and County Attorney Andrew Thomas has led Rick Romley to endorse Arpaio’s opponent in the upcoming election (See www.sabanforsheriff.com) along with the ACLU lawyer facing Thomas.
Romley, now working as a lobbyist for Democratic Attorney General Terry Goddard, has had major policy differences with Sheriff Arpaio over the years, and with Thomas. Romley did not support Thomas in the 2004 Republican primary. As is customary, Romley endorsed Thomas after he became the nominee. But shortly after Thomas became County Attorney, Romley almost immediately began taking exception to new policies instituted by Thomas, including:
*Romley does not support Thomas’ tough anti-illegal immigration policies and never made them a priority in the office;
*Thomas has toughened plea bargain policies from those used under Romley;
*Thomas has an effective working relationship with Sheriff Arpaio, rather than the frequent wars that took place while Romley served with Arpaio;
*Thomas opposed a possible Romley federal appointment two years ago;
*Romley opposed Thomas’ decision not to prosecute Sgt. Patrick Haab for his citizen’s arrest of illegal immigrants at a rest stop outside of Phoenix;
*Thomas has disagreed with Romley’s endorsement of Dan Saban for Sheriff, Chris Cummiskey for Secretary of State rather than Republican Jan Brewer and numerous other Democrat endorsements by Romley; and
*Under Romley the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office never had voicemail. Thomas changed this, bringing the office into the 21st Century, including successfully fighting for pay raises for county attorneys.
Additionally, Thomas has been endorsed by Georgia Staton, a former prosecutor and one-time Democratic nominee seeking to defeat Romley.
“I respect Rick’s public service, but I know he has had a difficult time letting go of the office and allowing me to do my job. His public criticisms of me, which began the first week after I took office, took exception to my crackdowns on easy plea bargains and illegal immigration. But those changes have helped lead to a reduction in crime and illegal immigration throughout the Valley. Also, I make no apologies for improving the relationship between the County Attorney’s Office and the Sheriff’s Office,” County Attorney Andrew Thomas said.