Just months after being convicted of criminal contempt for violating a court order demanding that he stop racially profiling Latinos, the 85-year-old former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio announced Tuesday that he is running for the Arizona Senate seat that will soon be left vacant by retiring Republican Sen. Dr. Kelli Ward, a former Arizona State Senator, announced a run for the seat previous year after unsuccessfully running against Republican John McCain in 2016.
After Trump entered the presidential race in July 2015, Arpaio invited him to Phoenix to talk about a crackdown on illegal immigration. The candidate "dismissed" Republican insiders' anxiety that his poor reputation with nonwhite voters might put the seat in play for Democrats in the midterm, and said he plans to alight himself with Trump.
The candidacy of Arpaio represents the political antagonism that will be the protagonist of the parliamentary elections on November 6, where not only will Arizona have to decide between a radical character and possibly the Democratic candidate Kyrsten Sinema, but the entire country will have to choose between allowing the Republican Party continue to do their thing or give another opportunity to a Democratic Party that still doesn't address the communities that need it most.
"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 tweeted Tuesday morning. During a rally in Phoenix previous year, Trump provoked cheers when he asked the audience if they liked Arpaio. John McCain, in the race.
Arpaio said in December that he was 'seriously, seriously, seriously considering running'. Past year he was found guilty of criminal contempt after repeatedly ignoring a court order and faced up to six months in jail. She was also backed by Steve Bannon - though Ward distanced herself from the former White House chief strategist after Bannon's comments in a new book drew condemnation from Trump. McSally is more closely aligned with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who listed her as a top recruit. But he had an ally in Trump, who had campaigned alongside Arpaio.
Not many of Arpaio's specific policy ideas are known at this point, given the early stage of the campaign.
As I wrote at the time: "In pardoning Arpaio, Trump has given a free pass to an unrepentant and habitual abuser of authority, a man with insufficient regard for the Constitution he swore to uphold or the separation of powers it enshrines".
The former sheriff's decision came as a surprise to some Democrats, who thought Arpaio's career had ended in 2016.