Soros recently gave $2 million to group opposing Joe Arpaio

November 4, 2016 GMT

PHOENIX (AP) — A political group funded largely by liberal hedge-fund tycoon George Soros has recently raised $2.9 million in its bid to oust Sheriff Joe Arpaio, including getting a $250,000 contribution from the widow of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

Records released Friday say Soros contributed $2 million to Maricopa Strong over the five-week period ending on Oct. 27. He previously contributed $300,000.

In all, the group has collected $3.2 million during the campaign. Three other people gave six-figure contributions. Laurene Powell Jobs, president Emerson Collective LLC, a social activism organization, provided her contribution to the group on Oct. 5.

Arpaio has raised $12 million so far in his race against Democrat Paul Penzone, who has reported $400,000 in campaign funds.

The latest campaign reports for Penzone and Arpaio haven’t yet been released.

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Soros also is the sole contributor to another Arizona political group that’s opposing the re-election of Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery.

Soros has given $1.3 million to the anti-Montgomery group known as Arizona Safety & Justice. The group has been regularly running TV ads criticizing Montgomery and promoting his Democratic opponent, Diego Rodriguez.

The latest report for Montgomery shows the incumbent has raised $363,000 during the campaign, including $62,000 in recent weeks.

Rodriguez has reported $26,000 in contributions thus far in the race. Half of that money was recently given to him.

Arpaio and Montgomery have each filed campaign complaints against the Soros-funded group opposing their re-election.

They alleged the groups failed to provide their campaigns with a copy of commercials it was going to run 24 hours after the groups sent them to stations to air.

The Soros groups say they have followed state election law.

Over the past year, Soros has given at least $3.9 million to support Democratic candidates in district attorney races in Chicago, St. Louis, Orlando, Houston, Albuquerque, Lowndes County in Mississippi and Caddo Parish in Louisiana. The spending helped topple a well-known incumbent in Orlando and drove a Republican candidate from the race in Albuquerque.

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Follow Jacques Billeaud at twitter.com/jacquesbilleaud. His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/jacques-billeaud.

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