Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Joe Arpaio will run for Arizona Senate 'to support Trump'

Joe Arpaio will run for Arizona Senate 'to support Trump'

Joe Arpaio, the criminally convicted Arizona sheriff whose approach to immigration and prison administration was widely criticized and legally contentious, announced on Tuesday he is running for the U.S. Senate.

Disgraced ex-Sheriff Joe Arpaio was officially pardoned by President Donald Trump past year - and now he's running for the Senate. He also accused President Obama of treating the 85-year-old Arpaio unfairly.

The former Maricopa County sheriff told the Examiner that he's entering the race to replace Republican Jeff Flake, who said in October that he is not running for re-election.

"I'm doing it for the people of Arizona, for our country and to support our great president I was with from the day he ran", Arpaio said.

"You're the guy that said I would never run for office", the sheriff said at the start of our phone interview Tuesday.

"I love this state, the people in this state, so I think I can give something back".

Arpaio joins a crowded Republican field already vying for the seat, alongside establishment candidate U.S. Rep. Martha McSally and pro-Trump candidate Kelli Ward, a former Arizona state senator.

Arpaio's track record makes him a controversial figure to say the least, and Flake appeared on CNN yesterday to emphatically dismiss the former sheriff and his chances of taking the senate. "You get the same time for barking dogs", Arpaio told Washington Examiner.

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A federal judge found Arpaio, who was notorious for jailing inmates in a sweltering desert tent camp, in contempt of court last July for flouting a 2011 order to stop the unconstitutional racial profiling and detainment of Latino residents.

He was one of the earliest supporters of Mr Trump's candidacy and could have faced six months in jail if the president had not pardoned him in August.

In 2016, facing a flood of out-of-state money, a well-organized Latino get-out-the-vote campaign, and the criminal contempt charges, Arpaio lost by a stunning 10 points. "I'm looking forward to it. Let them come".

Arpaio is also known for retaliating against political adversaries and using various freakish schemes for the sake of publicity.

Arpaio's reputation for being tough on crime was undermined by his failure to adequately investigate more than 400 sex-crimes cases, including dozens of child molestation reports, over a three-year period ending in 2007.

Arpaio's entry into the Senate race prompted immediate criticism from Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez, who released a statement saying, "Joe Arpaio is one of our nation's most notorious agents of racism and bigotry".

Arpaio is running for the seat being vacated by Sen.

If Flake's Senate speech and Arpaio's campaign announcement are precursors to how this election will play out, there are some interesting times ahead. So I stand by my pardon of Sheriff Joe.

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