KTAR: Arpaio announces bid for AZ Senate seat

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Phoenix's KTAR reported that former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said Tuesday that he would run for the U.S. Senate seat held by Republican Jeff Flake, who will not seek re-election.

“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,” Arpaio said in a release.

Arpaio told Talking Points Memo that he had not discussed his Senate bid with Trump or other White House officials.

He also did not seem worried about the upcoming Republican primary that will pit him against former state Sen. Kelli Ward and, possibly, U.S. Rep. Martha McSally, who has yet to officially announce for the race.

David Berman, a senior research fellow at Arizona State University’s Morrison Institute of Public Policy, said if Arpaio follows through on his announcement, his candidacy will likely hurt Ward’s chances.

Arpaio will probably siphon off support from some Trump voters and tea party supporters. “I think he would wipe her out,” Berman said.

Trump pardoned Arpaio on Aug. 25, saying the former sheriff had worked for years “protecting the public from the scourges of crime and illegal immigration.”

Arpaio was found guilty in late July of misdemeanor contempt for continuing his immigration sweeps for 17 months after a judge ordered him to stop.

The pardon essentially made Arpaio an innocent man, though the Constitution does not prohibit convicted criminals from running for office.

The former sheriff was ousted from the job he had held for 24 years by Democrat Paul Penzone in November.

READ: Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio announces he is running for Flake’s Senate seat

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