Pardoned Sheriff Joe Arpaio Will Run For Arizona Senate Seat

Five months after being pardoned by his longtime friend and political ally President Donald Trump, former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio on Tuesday announced his intention to run for the Arizona senate seat presently held by retiring Senator Jeff Flake.

Arpaio was convicted of ignoring a federal court order in a racial-profiling case but was pardoned before he was sentenced. The longtime immigration hardliner will likely face Kelli Ward and Rep. Martha McSally in the primary. McSally is expected to launch her campaign within days and is widely viewed as the Republicans’ strongest general election candidate, according to the Washington Examiner.



In a telephone interview with the Washington Examiner, Arpaio discussed his plans for the race, while shrugging off concerns about his age and about the controversy surrounding his pardon.

He promised that, if elected, he would unflinchingly support President Trump's agenda.

“I have a lot to offer. I’m a big supporter of President Trump,” Arpaio said. “I’m going to have to work hard; you don’t take anything for granted. But I would not being doing this if I thought that I could not win. I’m not here to get my name in the paper, I get that everyday, anyway.”

Arpaio served as the elected sheriff of Maricopa County, which encompasses Phoenix and surrounding suburbs, for 24 years until a Democrat ousted him in 2016.

Through strict opposition to illegal immigration and unorthodox policing methods, Arpaio cultivated a national image as a tough, law-and-order cop. That made him a favorite of conservative media and popular on the GOP endorsement circuit as Republicans throughout the country sought to bolster their border security bona fides in primaries.

Arpaio said he'd be willing to compromise on DACA; he even has what he called a "far-out" plan for getting them in the country legally.

“I have a far-out plan, which may look stupid,” he said. “When they come to your attention that they’re here illegally, these young people, deport them back to Mexico — or whatever — and then try to put them on a fast track to come back into the United States legally with special permits. What’s wrong with that? They’d say they don’t know where their home country is, so let them go there and spend six months, because it might take that long to do paperwork to get them here legally and let them see their home country and see what it's really like. They ought to be proud where they came from. I’m proud being an Italian American. I’m proud of Italy. I’m proud my father, mother came over, proud of it. So, you could kill two birds with one stone.”

“That would be no amnesty, everybody would be happy, you deport them and then let them come back with all their education here. I’m sure they could find a temporary job or help the foreign countries and build up relations and come back. That’s just a big picture that I have. People may say I’m crazy. What am I crazy about? It just makes sense.

Arpaio described his conviction as a "political witch hunt" and said he alone arrived at his decision to run for the Senate. The examiner pointed out that, even if he loses in the primary, he's likely to excite the same conservative base that help tank Flake's approval ratings.

The former sheriff said he has not personally discussed his Senate bid with Trump and emphasized that he didn’t ask for the pardon nor did he know that it was coming. But Arpaio did not apologize for it, calling his conviction part of a political witch hunt by former President Barack Obama and his first attorney general, Eric Holder.

As one Twitter user pointed out, Arpaio is the second Republican candidate who has been convicted of a crime to announce his intention to run during the 2018 election cycle. The other is former New York Rep. Michael Grimm. Democrats, Arpaio said, will likely play up his conviction and lob accusations of bigotry his way.

But Arpaio says he's not worried, and that these criticisms wouldn't alter his hard-line approach toward immigration.



ed31337 AgentScruffy Tue, 01/09/2018 - 14:09 Permalink

If Arpaio REALLY wanted to help Trump, he'd stay the heck out of the race. Joe Arpaio is OLD, he's used up and done. He LOST the last run at Sheriff to a DEMOCRAT after holding the position for decades. Arizona is done with him. Arizona's voter base is being dilluted with a huge influx of liberals fleeing California. Running Arpaio for a senate seat in AZ is very risky in light of Roy Moore's defeat in AL. Run someone you can trick liberals into voting for -- nobody's going to be tricked into voting for Arpaio at this stage of his career.

In reply to by AgentScruffy

Joshua2415 vortmax Tue, 01/09/2018 - 11:57 Permalink

I like Sheriff Joe.  I admire his stance on law enforcement and immigration and I've donated to his legal defense fund in the past.  But the politically smart take-away from the Alabama election is for republicans to nominate middle-of-the-road candidates in dominantly red states, and to save the populist, "MAGA" firebrands for traditionally blue or purple states where maximum turnout of Trump's base is critical. Nominating Sheriff Joe in AZ will highly motivate the democrat (and illegal) vote and could cost the r's another EASY senate seat.

In reply to by vortmax

AgentScruffy vortmax Tue, 01/09/2018 - 12:03 Permalink

Sherrif Arpaio is the epitome of lawlessness. His ability to advance to the Senate, if it happens, is due solely to cronyism, i.e. Trump's appalling decision to pardon the man. 

Conservatives love to rail against "lawlessness" but given their controlled diet of information via FoxNews and a few other outlets, only allow themselves to take in minor information about Arpaio. Thus, when they are supporting Arpaio, they are supporting lawlessness - just their preferred flavor of lawlessness.  

Wake up people:… 

In reply to by vortmax

aardvarkk vortmax Tue, 01/09/2018 - 12:04 Permalink

Based on what I know to be in the public domain right now, that is one of the more stupid comments I've seen lately, and that's saying something.

On the other hand, it's 2018.  Anything can apparently pop up.  I hope the other Rs in the primary have some serious oppo research, and don't let Arpaio get into the general only to be smacked with actual, substantial allegations of anything.

I'm not in AZ and have no real dog in the hunt, but if nothing comes out that isn't already out, he would have my vote just for making inmates wear pink undies and sleep in tents.  It's like he's the only one who knows that incarceration should not involve catering to inmates' every whim.

In reply to by vortmax

Malleus Maleficarum aardvarkk Tue, 01/09/2018 - 15:19 Permalink

He may be an idiot, but you'll vote for a man because he makes other men (many of whom aren't even convicted of a crime) wear pink underwear? Well, thank God, at least you know what's important! Issue the shame panties posthaste, and let's get America rolling again!

P.S., I've worked in the justice system in the South for going on 20 years, and I've seen many, many jails. I've yet to see a single jail that comes anywhere close to "catering to inmates' every whim." In fact, most inmates will tell you that county jails are far worse than state prison in many ways! So don't worry - it's not just Great Americans like Joe Arpaio who "get it," there are plenty of men in 'the land of the free' just like him! 

In reply to by aardvarkk

MEFOBILLS DonFromWyoming Tue, 01/09/2018 - 12:22 Permalink

We have no standards.   A country of 300 million and out of that there should be five or six hundred highly qualified, who are not pushing 90.

His stance on immigration may be correct, but too old is too old.  Senility and other problems start setting in at this age.  

Democracy is a failed form of government.  Not everybody should be voting, and not everybody is qualified to run.


In reply to by DonFromWyoming

GRDguy Tue, 01/09/2018 - 11:37 Permalink

Idiocracy in action. If AZ is stupid enough to vote for him, then they deserve whatever he dishes out.  The real question is who's financing this.