Paul Penzone, left, and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio
PHOENIX (CBS5/AP) -
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has launched a TV commercial that accuses his Democratic rival Paul Penzone of abusing his wife in a 2003 domestic dispute.
Penzone vigorously denies the allegation.
In a report obtained by CBS 5 News, Penzone and his then-wife argued over a visitation issue with his son.
The ad reiterates allegations made by Penzone's then-estranged wife that Penzone had caused her to hit her forehead in March 2003 by pushing her on a doorway.
Penzone said it was his wife who hit him in the head during the dispute with a hockey stick.
No charges were ever filed.
Penzone told CBS 5 News the fact that he was never charged and that he released the information about the incident before it was discovered should speak volumes.
"He (Arpaio) should have been as zealous about investigating crimes pertaining to sex crimes against children as he is about attacking his opponents," Penzone said in a CBS 5 interview.
Penzone said he doesn't plan on releasing an ad in retaliation to this one. Instead, he said he will let the general public decide who to believe.
"The real Joe is out there. Now he's come back around. The cuddly side is gone now."
Arpaio's campaign staff sent CBS 5 News this response to the ad against Penzone. It reads, in part:
"The re-elect Joe Arpaio 2012 campaign firmly stands by their latest ad informing voters about candidate Paul Penzone's history of domestic violence.
"The ad is based in fact and references the exact words from his ex-wife during the altercation.
"Sheriff Arpaio has been running positive ads about his record and his policies and had intended to continue doing so.
"However, both the Penzone campaign and its allies have been running vicious and distorted personal attack ads against the sheriff for months now.
"The voters of Maricopa County deserve to know about the candidates they will choose from."
Earlier in the campaign, Penzone ran a commercial that accused Arpaio's office of refusing to investigate the molestation of a 6-year-old and tried to cast doubt about Arpaio's reputation for being tough on crime.
Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Wednesday, June 19 2013 11:01 AM EDT2013-06-19 15:01:14 GMT
Cell phone records show the young woman who vanished just blocks away from her Tempe apartment over the weekend made a phone call before she disappeared. Adrienne Salinas, 19, hasn't been seen or heardMore >
Cell phone records show the young woman who vanished just blocks away from her Tempe apartment over the weekend made a phone call before she disappeared.More >
Wednesday, June 19 2013 3:36 PM EDT2013-06-19 19:36:55 GMT
Gun threat at Arizona Mills Mall
A gun threat forced the evacuation of Arizona Mills Mall Tuesday night. A caller told 911 that someone was pointing a gun at theater-goers while they were watching a movie. The scene is unfolding andMore >
A caller told 911 that someone pointed a gun at theater-goers while they were watching the new 'Superman' movie.More >
Wednesday, June 19 2013 4:58 PM EDT2013-06-19 20:58:02 GMT
The man suspected of kidnapping three women and holding them captive for years inside his west side is due in court this morning. Ariel Castro will go before Judge Michael Russo at 8:30 a.m. on nearlyMore >
With his head hanging down, suspected kidnapper Ariel Castro went before a judge on Wednesday morning.
Castro refused to make eye contact with anyone, but did answer the judge when questioned. He provided a simple answer of 'yes' when asked normal questions about the proceedings. More >
Friday, May 31 2013 8:01 PM EDT2013-06-01 00:01:34 GMT
A bus driver loses his job over a Facebook post. Here's hold it unfolded. The last week of school in Haralson County, a student told driver Johnny Cook he was hungry, that didn't get to eat lunch at HaralsonMore >
A bus driver recently lost his job over a Facebook post. More >
Wednesday, June 19 2013 1:40 PM EDT2013-06-19 17:40:44 GMT
Jesus Cabrera Molina (Source: CBS 5 News)
A judge has denied bond for man believed involved in the hit-and-run death of a Phoenix police officer.Police say 24-year-old Jesus Cabrera Molina is being held on suspicion of manslaughter and leavingMore >
Maricopa County court officials said Jesus Cabrera Molina, 24, pleaded not guilty to charges of manslaughter and leaving the scene of the crash in the hit-and-run death of a Phoenix police officer.More >