Immigration Law

Joe Arpaio announces bid for US Senate seat from Arizona

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Joe Arpaio, the 85-year-old former lawman pardoned by President Donald Trump just weeks after being convicted for contempt of court, is running for the U.S. Senate in Arizona.

CNN, the New York Times, the Arizona Republic and the Washington Examiner all have stories.

The former Maricopa County sheriff told the Examiner that he’s entering the race to replace Republican Jeff Flake, who said in October that he is not running for re-election. Among those running for Flake’s seat is former state Sen. Kelli Ward, also a Republican, and Democratic state Rep. Kyrsten Sinema.

“I have a lot to offer. I’m a big supporter of President Trump,” Arpaio said in an interview with 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.”

Arpaio declined to discuss any policy agenda other than immigration enforcement. Regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that is being wound down by the Trump administration, Arpaio outlined his plan to the Examiner.

“I have a far-out plan, which may look stupid,” he said, noting there would be no amnesty provisions. “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. … People may say I’m crazy. What am I crazy about? It just makes sense.”

Arpaio also says he’ll shake up Washington.

In a follow-up news release, the Arizona Republic reported, Arpaio said he is “sick of the smugness that has taken over the Senate chambers of our Capitol, and I am fed up with career politicians and their talking points, saying one thing and doing another.”

Pushback to Arpaio’s announcement was almost immediate.

Cecillia Wang, the deputy legal director of the ACLU, tweeted that “Arpaio couldn’t even win re-election to the sheriff’s office he held for decades. The people had enough of his racism and the high costs of his refusal to obey the Constitution and the courts.”

Flake told CNN he didn’t think Arpaio will be a factor in the race.

“Write about it fast (because) it won’t last long,” he said.

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