Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio continued dishing out huge amounts of campaign cash during June and July, surpassing the $1 million mark in total spending with more than two years still to go before he is up for reelection.
Arpaio, a Republican who has now raised nearly $3 million for his 2012 reelection campaign, spent just shy of $400,000 during those two months alone.
That brings his total campaign spending to $1.07 million since starting his fifth term in January 2009, according to reports he filed last week with the Maricopa County Elections Department.
It makes the sheriff one of the top political spenders in Arizona, putting him ahead of most candidates for Congress and all but one person running for statewide office.
According to the latest disclosure, most of Arpaio’s spending in June and July, roughly $236,000, went to buying ads in local media.
While the report doesn’t say anything specific about the media buys, Arpaio appears to have only bought television air time for two ads this year. Both of them have led to an investigation by county elections officials.
The ads appear to have little to do with Arpaio’s own 2012 reelection, although they mention he plans to run for a sixth term. Instead, the 30-second spots attack two of his fellow Republicans who happen to be running in primaries this year against candidates Arpaio has endorsed.
The ads, which target Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley and attorney general candidate Tom Horne, make passing reference to Arpaio but go on to lump the two candidates in with Democratic President Barack Obama and liberal politics.
Arpaio has endorsed Romley’s primary challenger Bill Montgomery and Horne’s primary opponent, Andrew Thomas.
After a complaint by Romley earlier this month, the county elections department opened an investigation into the ads, trying to determine whether Arpaio is allowed to use his reelection money to weigh in on other races.
Only four Arizona candidates have spent more campaign money this year than Arpaio, according to the latest campaign reports.
Sen. John McCain has spent $19.2 million for his reelection campaign. His Republican primary challenger, J.D. Hayworth, has spent $2.6 million. Republican gubernatorial hopeful Buz Mills spent $3.3 million before dropping out of the race in July. And Rep. Gabrielle Giffords spent $1.1 million for her reelection bid.
Watch one of Arpaio’s ads: