PHOENIX (CBS Las Vegas/AP) — Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio raised $3.5 million in campaign contributions over the last year.

Most of the contributions were made by out-of-state donors at a time when Arpaio critics tried unsuccessfully to force a recall election against the sheriff.

Arpaio turned in his 2013 campaign finance report Wednesday.

The contributions replenished Arpaio’s campaign fund, which was depleted after he spent $8 million in donations during the last election cycle. His 2012 re-election campaign marked the second-closest race in his six terms as sheriff.

Arpaio said in a statement that he was emboldened by supporters who were there for him during the recall effort.

While Arpaio has vowed to run for a seventh term as sheriff in 2016, he said in his statement Wednesday that he’s seriously considering a run for governor.

“Every four years, my supporters encourage me to run for governor,” Arpaio told KTVK-TV. “Based on these fundraising numbers and knowing I could be competitive, I will have to give it serious consideration.”

Arpaio has flirted with — but ultimately decided against — running for governor in four gubernatorial election cycles from 1998 to 2010.

If Arpaio decided to run for governor, Arizona law would require him to resign immediately because he isn’t in the final year of his current term as sheriff.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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