“America’s toughest sheriff” is angling for a new title. America’s toughest senator? Former Maricopa County, Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio has officially announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate, and he’s named President Trump in his reasoning.
Arpaio gained national acclaim during his 23 years as the top sheriff in town in the greater Phoenix area by taking a tough stance on illegal immigration. He was often accused of being too harsh on them and other lawbreakers, although supporters argued his tough tactics helped reform prisoners.
He was also a political sheriff, going after political figures including Obama, whose birth certificate he investigated. After being hit with many accusations and lawsuits, a contempt of court charge stuck after Arpaio was accused of ignoring an order to stop profiling Latinos. He was pardoned by the president in August.
Trump called Arpaio “a great American patriot” and said at his pardoning that, "Throughout his time as sheriff, Arpaio continued his life's work of protecting the public from the scourges of crime and illegal immigration. Sheriff Joe Arpaio is now 85 years old, and after more than 50 years of admirable service to our nation, he is [a] worthy candidate for a Presidential pardon.”
Now Arpaio, who did some campaigning with Trump during the 2016 presidential race, has named him in a brief statement announcing his U.S. Senate candidacy.
“I am running for the U.S. Senate from the Great State of Arizona, for one unwavering reason: to support the agenda and policies of President Donald Trump in his mission to Make America Great Again,” he said on Twitter according to ABC News.
Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, a vocal Trump critic who famously donated to Democrat Doug Jones in his Senate race against Republican Roy Moore, is retiring, according to CNN. Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) is expected to announce she’s running, too. Conservative state senator Kelli Ward is already in the race.
Arpaio knows it’ll be a tough showdown, telling the Washington Examiner that, “I have a lot to offer. I’m a big supporter of President Trump. I’m going to have to work hard; you don’t take anything for granted. But I would not [be] doing this if I thought that I could not win. I’m not here to get my name in the paper. I get that every day, anyway.”
He argued that he’s not a racist, citing his immigrant parents and saying he has a soft spot for the Mexican community in Arizona and his own ethnically diverse grandkids. He doesn’t believe enforcing immigration law makes him hateful.
The former lawman further explained his reason for running, saying, “Being a U.S. senator is a little different than being the sheriff, because you can do a lot of things in the U.S. Senate, and I have many plans, believe me. It’s tough. It’s a tough decision. But, if you’re going to come across that border, you should be arrested and get the consequences of it.”
What do you think about his run for Senate? Let us know! In other news, Southern California is in mayhem again after rain is causing burnt hillsides to liquify into mudslides, trapping people and destroying homes.