Former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio just announced he is running for Senate in 2018. Mr. Arpaio, known for his “tough” stances on immigration and border security while serving as Maricopa County sheriff, was an ardent supporter of Donald Trump during the 2016 Presidential Election.
“I have a lot to offer. I’m a big supporter of President Trump,” Arpaio, 85, told The Washington Examiner in an interview published Tuesday. “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 everyday, anyway.”
During his tenure as Maricopa County sheriff, Mr. Arpaio was constantly mired in controversy. For instance, his practice of housing inmates in tents and conducting immigration sweeps drew widespread condemnation. He also conducted a 6-month investigation into the authenticity of Obama’s birth certificate. Despite overwhelming proof to the contrary, Mr. Arpaio declared it a fake.
In 2011, the Justice Department reported the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office engaged in systematic racial profiling of Latinos. An injunction was issued forbidding the arrest or detention of anyone on the basis of suspected immigration status. Mr. Arpaio failed to comply with that injunction, and in August 2017 was convicted of criminal contempt. President Trump pardoned Mr. Arpaio, who served no jail time.
Mr. Arpaio is running to replace retiring Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.). Arizona hasn’t sent a Democrat to the Senate since 1988. In the 2016 presidential election, Mr. Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by 4 points.