ibusinesslines.com March 23, 2018

Joe Arpaio points to political traits he shares with Trump

12 January 2018, 10:43 | Erica Roy

Ex-Sheriff Joe Arpaio says he's running for Senate in Arizona to push Trump agenda

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio speaks in support of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during a Trump campaign rally

Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was pardoned by Republican ally President Trump a year ago, is throwing his hat in the ring for Arizona's open Senate seat.

Arpaio, 85, announced his intention to run for the seat that will soon be vacated by outgoing Republican Sen. He will seek to replace retiring Republican Senator Jeff Flake, who has been a frequent critic of Trump.

As the Trump administration and Congress negotiate a legislative fix to save the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, Arpaio offered the Examiner his own solution.

Arpaio was later convicted of misdemeanor contempt of court for ignoring a judge's order to stop his immigration patrols but pardoned by President Donald Trump, an ally of the former lawman. "I think he's going to be just fine, OK".

"I think he would just suck up most of her support".

"I'm not here to get my name in the paper", he said.

Arpaio said his 24 years as a sheriff, fighting the drug and illegal immigration problem, will be good experience in becoming a senator, even though it "got me in trouble".

Through strict opposition to illegal immigration and unorthodox policing methods, Arpaio cultivated a national image as a tough, law-and-order cop. "But, if you're going to come across that border, you should be arrested and get the consequences of it".

Trump a year ago pardoned Arpaio, who had been convicted of criminal contempt in a case that centered on racial profiling by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office. Brutal police tactics, racial profiling and his ignorance of the judicial orders, were just some of the reasons why he was convicted in early 2017, until President Trump chose to pardon him, in a gesture of gratitude for his loyalty. Perhaps he wants to help his pal, President Trump, carry out the will of the people who sent the backyard billionaire to the White House.

Count veteran Republican strategist Chuck Coughlin among those who don't see Arpaio winning the seat - and aren't convinced that he's serious about a Senate run. The victor of the Republican primary is likely to face Democrat Kyrsten Sinema, the first openly bisexual member of the U.S. House and the leading candidate in her party's Senate primary. The new candidate said he "relishes" the fight whether it be from the left or from supporters of McSally on the right, noting he has a "love-hate" relationship with both Flake and McCain who have both been critical of the president and opposed the pardon.

Since losing his run for an unprecedented seventh term as Maricopa County's sheriff to Paul Penzone in November 2016, speculation has run rampant about what Arpaio's next chapter might look like.

But Arpaio's Senate quest will be a decidedly uphill journey.

"So was Sheriff Joe convicted for doing his job?"

Several Democratic lawmakers have been outspoken on Twitter about Mr Arpaio's decision to run.

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