Arizona sheriff pardoned by Trump announces he's running for Senate

Pauline Gross
January 10, 2018

Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was spared a possible jail sentence previous year when his political ally President Donald Trump pardoned his criminal conviction for disobeying a judge's order, announced Tuesday he plans to run for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Jeff Flake. Dr. Kelli Ward, a former Arizona State Senator, announced a run for the seat past year after unsuccessfully running against Republican John McCain in 2016.

He's aiming for the seat that'll be vacated by incumbent Sen.

"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." the 85-year-old ex-lawman tweeted Tuesday morning. "I'm a big supporter of President Trump", Arpaio told the Washington Examiner in an interview kicking off his campaign.

Arpaio was pardoned by Trump a year ago after he was found guilty of contempt of court for willfully violating a federal judge's order to stop a program of racially profiling Latinos. Trump told Fox News prior to the pardon that Arpaio was "a great American patriot and I hate to see what has happened to him".

National Republicans have landed their top recruit for the seat: Rep. Martha McSally is set to holds events Friday in Tucson, Phoenix and Prescott where she'll make what's being billed as a "special announcement". John McCain in 2016, the Washington Examiner reports.

"Write about it now, because it won't last long", Flake said. McSally is more closely aligned with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who listed her as a top recruit.

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Arpaio also waved off suggestions his candidacy could tilt the seat to a Democrat - as firebrand conservative Roy Moore's Republican run in Alabama did last December.

"It really does seem as if people do not quite appreciate just how evil Joe Arpaio truly is".

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.

Arpaio said he has not spoken with Trump about the Senate bid, and did not ask for the pardon.

"Every Democratic voter should give a dollar to Arpaio's primary campaign because nobody energizes Latino voters nationally better than Joe Arpaio", said Rep. Luis Gutiérrez of IL, a retiring Democrat who is considering a 2020 presidential run.

Other reports by GizPress

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