Recognized for his aggressive methods in the persecution of undocumented immigrants, Joe Arpaio was finally forgiven by President Donald Trump, who recognized him for "more than 50 years of admirable service to our nation". But I would not be doing this if I thought that I could not win.
"I have a lot to offer. I'm not here to get my name in the paper, I get that everyday, anyway".
While major media outlets tend to portray Arpaio as a "fiery" political figure known for his "hardline views" on immigration, his record is far more insidious than these descriptions indicate, as Nathan Robinson of Current Affairs makes clear in a detailed examination of the former sheriff's record published shortly after Arpaio was pardoned by Trump.
He faces stiff competition for the seat in the form of Kelli Ward, a former state senator who already has significant financial backing for a re-run.More news: Panthers fire OC Mike Shula and QB coach Ken Dorsey
A federal judge found Arpaio, who was notorious for jailing inmates in a sweltering desert tent camp, in contempt of court last July for flouting a 2011 order to stop the unconstitutional racial profiling and detainment of Latino residents.
In an interview with the Washington Examiner, Arpaio attempted to whitewash his history of mistreating immigrants by claiming he has a "soft spot" for the Mexican community. Brutal police tactics, racial profiling and his ignorance of the judicial orders, were just some of the reasons why he was convicted in early 2017, until President Trump made a decision to pardon him, in a gesture of gratitude for his loyalty.
Arpaio said in December that he was 'seriously, seriously, seriously considering running'. "If I have been critical, it is because I believe that it is my obligation to do so, as a matter of duty and conscience", he said. "But, if you're going to come across that border, you should be arrested and get the consequences of it". During a rally in Phoenix a year ago, Trump provoked cheers when he asked the audience if they liked Arpaio. "When they come to your attention that they're here illegally, these young people, deport them back to Mexico - or whatever - and then try to put them on a fast track to come back into the United States legally with special permits". "I'm sure they could find a temporary job or help the foreign countries and build up relations and come back. Why don't they say that I should make a good candidate". I'm proud being an Italian American. I'm proud my father, mother came over, proud of it.