Former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio announces bid for US Senate seat

Former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio announces bid for US Senate seat

Former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio announces bid for US Senate seat

Trump pardoned Arpaio last summer, sparing the former sheriff jail time after he was convicted of ignoring a federal court order in a racial-profiling case. Dr. Kelli Ward, a former Arizona State Senator, announced a run for the seat a year ago after unsuccessfully running against Republican John McCain in 2016.

Arpaio, who would be 86 by the time he is sworn into the Senate, is running for the seat formerly occupied by Jeff Flake, who announced in October that he will resign at the end of his term.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio is now eighty-five years old, and after more than fifty years of admirable service to our Nation, he is worthy candidate for a Presidential pardon'.

Arpaio said he wanted to push the policies of President Trump, who granted a controversial pardon to the lawman in August.

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Arpaio tweeted Tuesday he is seeking the post to support Trump's agenda "in his mission to Make America Great Again".

Arpaio's entrance in the race could complicate things for former state Sen. Martha McSally are also running to be the GOP nominee for the seat. John McCain in 2016, the Washington Examiner reports.

The Examiner noted Arpaio is "virtually guaranteed" to rev up a Republican base that pushed Flake into retirement because of his feud with the president.

Ward, who has been endorsed by former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon, had been styling herself as the pro-Trump outsider, so Arpaio's entry threatens to cut into her support.

Though the primary is months away, it bears some similarities to the three-way Republican primary ahead of the Alabama special election in December. McSally is more closely aligned with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who listed her as a top recruit.

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. Democrats in the race include U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema.

Latino voters made up 15% of the electorate and favored Clinton by a 2-to-1 margin, CNN's exit polls found.

"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. The race looks like it could be a rare Senate pickup opportunity for Democrats in the 2018 campaign.

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