set up work camps for jail inmates and clothed them in pink during his
decades as sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona. He also fought on the
front lines of the war against illegal aliens entering the United States
and sued Barack Obama over the issue.
Now he wants to take his no-nonsense approach to government to Washington to help President Trump.
Joe Arpaio, an octogenarian who has stated repeatedly that he’s not
done being a public servant, announced Tuesday he’s seeking to replace
outgoing Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz..
“Moments ago, I filed the
paperwork to run for United States Senate in Arizona to fill the seat
that Jeff Flake is leaving behind,” he wrote in an email. “This is NOT
going to be easy, and I pray to have your continued support today on DAY
ONE of my campaign.”
He described himself as “America’s toughest sheriff” while on duty in Arizona.
was Maricopa County’s elected sheriff from 1993 to 2016, and was voted
out only after his enforcement of federal immigration laws earned him
the opposition of both the Obama administration and a federal judge who
said he had engaged in profiling and mistreating prisoners.
Trump immediately granted him a pardon for the conviction, but the
publicity cost him the most recent election for sheriff.
recently told the Washington Examiner: “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 every day, anyway.”
Arizona state Sen. Kelli Ward already is seeking the GOP nomination to replace Flake.
in his announcement: “I have thought long and hard about this decision.
And I did not make it without many discussions with my wonderful wife
of over sixty years, Ava. And Ava agrees with me. We cannot sit idly by
while our nation faces unprecedented challenges. President Trump needs
my help in the Senate. He needs a conservative vote he can count on, and
a voice in the Senate who knows first hand the threats our nation is
He explained: “As the sheriff of America’s
fourth-most populous county for two decades, I witnessed every day the
danger our streets and neighborhoods are facing. As sheriff of Maricopa
County, Arizona, my deputies and I locked up violent drug dealers,
callous human traffickers, and thousands of criminal gang members that
were in this country illegally.
“Friend, with many of President
Obama’s failed and dangerous policies still in place, our nation is not
safe – at least not yet. President Trump is working around the clock to
make America great again, but he can’t do this alone – he needs our
conservative voice and my vote in Washington.”
He cited existing problems:
- “Sanctuary cities like San Francisco are literally refusing to hold
illegal immigrants accountable for their actions, just to further their
politically correct, pro-amnesty agenda.
- “The once bedrock American commitment to paying our bills has been replaced by over $20 trillion in national debt.
- “The liberal Left attacks the rights of law abiding gun owners – but
doesn’t even bat an eye while so-called ‘doctors’ slaughter millions of
unborn children in their mother’s womb every single year.
- “Millionaire athletes are lionized by the fake news media as
‘heroes’ for disrespecting the American flag and refusing to stand for
our national anthem.”
“Enough is enough. I’m running for Senate because I want America
to be great again. I know this isn’t going to be easy. I know I’ll be
attacked by the far left, the establishment right and of course, the
liberal media. The media is going to say every nasty thing they can
think of and try to break me. But, friend, I have never been one to shy
away from a fight – and I can’t in good conscience sit back in
retirement knowing that my grandchildren will inherit a country worse
off than the America I’ve spent my entire life defending.”
Opponents even went to court after Trump’s pardon of Arpaio, demanding that it be reversed, but the move ultimately failed.
conviction of contempt of court was delivered by a judge who said he
went too far trying to protect Americans from illegal aliens.
Trump noted that Arpaio’s career started when he was 18 and enlisted in the military to go to Korea.
serving in the Army, Arpaio became a police officer in Washington,
D.C., and Las Vegas, Nev., and later served as a Special Agent for the
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), formerly the Bureau of Narcotics.
After 25 years of admirable service, Arpaio went on to lead the DEA’s
branch in Arizona,” the White House said.
Arpaio had been at odds with the Obama administration since its beginning,
mostly over illegal immigration. The sheriff sued because of the impact
illegal aliens have on the safety and security of his county’s
residents. Federal officials, in turn, have accused him of not treating
A split panel of federal judges said Arpaio
didn’t have standing to sue, with the minority expressing outrage that
the concerns of the sheriff of one of the nation’s largest counties
would be dismissed.
His unusual approach to law enforcement has earned him repeated election victories.
example, he established chain gangs for inmates to contribute thousands
of dollars of free labor to communities, painting over graffiti and
He banned smoking, coffee, movies, pornographic
magazines and unrestricted TV in jails. His costs per meal for
inmates ran between 15 cents and 40 cents. He provided pink underwear
for inmates to wear, after learning that inmates were stealing white
He also posted mugshots online to serve as a
deterrent, and he was behind the only official law-enforcement
investigation of Barack Obama’s birth certificate. His investigators
concluded that the birth certificate Obama presented at the White House
as an official government document almost certainly is a forgery.