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Hispanic groups urge Penzone to stay in sheriff's race

PHOENIX -- Some of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's critics said Tuesday's election may not be over.

Democratic candidate Paul Penzone ended his campaign with a concession speech in which he said that "it looks like the numbers are going to be insurmountable. Unfortunately, it didn't work out in our favor."

The latest election results showed Penzone still trailed Arpaio by about nine percentage points, but Randy Parraz of the Hispanic rights group Citizens for a Better Arizona said the election isn't over. There are 420,000 early and provisional ballots that haven't been counted.

Parraz claimed that most of the ballots are from Hispanic areas that are strongholds for both Penzone and Democrat U.S. Senate candidate Richard Carmona, who lost to Republican Jeff Flake.

Parraz argued that both Penzone and Carmona should retract their concession speeches until all of the votes are counted.

"I don't give a (expletive) about what the political strategists tell you what to do," said Parraz. "I don't care if a strategist says you should concede. What about the voters? What about the people who went out there and knocked on doors for Paul Penzone and Richard Carmona?"

Meanwhile, several Hispanic groups are holding a vigil outside of the Maricopa County Election building on Thursday. They're demanding that County Recorder Helen Purcell provide a full accounting of mistakes they said were made on Election Day and the ballots that have yet to be counted.

Purcell issued a statement Wednesday afternoon that "every effort is being made to complete the processing and tabulation of the 2012 General Election early ballots and provisional ballots."

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About the Author


Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.

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