Joe Arpaio, the former Arizona sheriff who was spared a possible jail sentence when President Donald Trump pardoned him for disobeying a judge, announced Tuesday that he would run for the Senate seat being vacated by fellow Republican Jeff Flake.
Arpaio told the Washington Examiner, "I have a lot to offer".
Arpaio also told supporters in a fundraising email that he filed the paperwork to run in Arizona's Republican primary in late August. "I think he's going to be just fine, OK". 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", he said.
Democratic Party leader Tom Perez said Tuesday his party will fight "tooth and nail" to win the Arizona Senate seat, adding it was "sad and disturbing" that Arpaio had chosen to run.
Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio has announced he is running for Senate in Arizona
A source in Arizona told The Hill reporter Scott Wong that many are viewing Arpaio's Senate campaign as a "cash grab for donations" to offset legal fees he accumulated when he was found guilty of criminal contempt of court in July.
Over the years, he has been very vocal of his support for the president's stance on immigration policies.
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.
"If you know my history, you know they (other candidates) ask for the endorsements", Arpaio said. The controversial pro-Trump former sheriff did manage to earn the support of the remaining 225 precincts that supported McCain's bid. Arpaio had held the office for 24 years and had amassed more than $12 million in campaign funds. "Why don't they say that I should make a good candidate".
Arpaio's entry into the Senate race comes the same day we learned Republican Congresswoman Martha McSally of Tucson will announce her long-awaited candidacy on Friday, with a trip across Arizona.
"If he does take a serious run at this, this will dramatically shake up this race as Mr. Arpaio [is] definitely a polarizing figure with the general public but is still really beloved by a lot of Republican voters out there", Welch said.
"It's hard to think of a candidate as unfit for office as Donald Trump or Roy Moore, but Joe Arpaio is certainly in the same league". We're going to see this play out here over the next few days, next few weeks, next few months.
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