Political Shenanigans In San Simon The political election for Sheriff of PimaCounty in 1880...

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Bob Paul.

In the political election for Sheriff of Pima County in 1880, Republican Bob Paul was running against the Democrat, Charlie Shibell for sheriff of Pima County. Paul had a good reputation as a tough lawman while Shibell was more of an administrator. Shibell was reluctant to challenge the outlaws. They were a ruthless force to anyone who opposed them, and he feared for his life, but also, the Southern-bred Cow-boys voted Democrat and Shibell needed those votes to remain in office.

Wyatt Earp, a Republican, remained Shibell’s deputy but supported fellow Republican, Bob Paul.  Shibell won the Pima County by a few votes but voter fraud was discovered in the San Simon District in the extreme eastern part of the county.

The culprits were led by Ike Clanton and Johnny Ringo, who managed to get themselves named election officials.  With only 50 eligible voters in the district, Shibell received 123 votes and Paul only one.

Wyatt became involved in investigating the fraud and on November 9th, 1880 he resigned as Shibell’s deputy and Johnny Behan was appointed as his replacement.  On April 12th, 1881, the court declared Bob Paul Sheriff of Pima County.  By that time, Cochise County had already been created out of the eastern part of Pima County and Behan had been appointed sheriff by Governor John C. Fremont.

 

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