After Arizona’s Senator Jeff Flake announced that he would not be seeking re-election, there was quite a bit of speculation on who would replace him. One of the names that surfaced before his was pardoned by the President of the United States for criminal contempt (talk about a trumped-up charge) was Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the man who set out to prove that Barack Obama was not a natural born citizen of the United States.
On Tuesday, the 85-year old lawman threw his hat into the ring.
The move by Mr. Arpaio, who just six months ago faced the prospect of a jail sentence before the pardon, upends the race to replace Senator Jeff Flake, a Republican who abandoned his 2018 re-election campaign after coming under criticism from Mr. Trump.
The contenders for the seat include Representative Kyrsten Sinema, a centrist Democrat, and Kelli Ward, a conservative Republican and former state senator who aligns herself with Mr. Trump. Mr. Arpaio, the former sheriff of Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, lost his own re-election bid for that post in 2016 to Paul Penzone, a Democrat and Phoenix police officer.
“Being a U.S. senator is a little different than being the sheriff, because you can do a lot of things in the U.S. Senate, and I have many plans, believe me,” Mr. Arpaio told The Washington Examiner in announcing his bid. “I have a lot to offer. I’m a big supporter of President Trump.”
His name recognition doesn’t hurt against some of these people, either.
That being the case, that Mr. Arpaio is somewhat of a known figure, previous complaints about him have already started to surface including accusations of racial profiling against Latinos and more. However, there are just as many people, lawmen and criminals alike, who have great respect for Sheriff Joe the patriot and who would like to see him do well.
One thing is for sure, the 2018 midterms are definitely not going to be a snoozefest. If anything, it will be quite invigorating to watch contested seats be challenged.