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Residents react to Arpaio's decision to run for US Senate

12 January 2018

Former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio said Tuesday that he will run for the U.S. Senate seat in Arizona being vacated by the retiring Jeff Flake.

Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was pardoned by Republican ally President Trump previous year, is throwing his hat in the ring for Arizona's open Senate seat.

In 2017, Arpaio was found guilty of criminal contempt for violating a federal injunction in a case where he had been accused of racially profiling and detaining Latinos in an effort to round up and deport immigrants who were in the country illegally.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio (R) of Maricopa County, Arizona endorses Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump prior to a rally on January 26, 2016 in Marshalltown, Iowa.

Arpaio, 85, says he will run as a strong Donald Trump supporter, adding, "I just want to do everything I can to support our president". Dr. Kelli Ward, a former Arizona State Senator, announced a run for the seat past year after unsuccessfully running against Republican John McCain in 2016.

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"People are not going to vote for me just being pro-Trump", Arpaio said.

To his naysayers, he contends that he was simply doing his job: "If you're going to come across that border, you should be arrested and get the consequences of it", he said.

"What ego? You guys forgot me the day I left office anyway". Many also dismissed talk that he might run for U.S. Senate.

But according to Flake, Arpaio likely won't realize those plans because his Senate run "won't go very far".

In August, Trump pardoned Arpaio when he was convicted of violating a court order to stop detaining people exclusively on suspicion that they're undocumented immigrants. Also at that time, the Human Rights Campaign noted that Arpaio used "anti-LGBTQ schemes to humiliate prisoners," a reference to the policy of making all inmates wear pink underwear.

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"I have a far-out plan, which may look stupid", he said. Dr. Kelli Ward, a conservative activist who attempted to defeat Sen. In July a federal judge convicted him of the charge for defying a court order that he stop the Maricopa County Sheriff's Department's raids of largely Latino neighborhoods in search of undocumented immigrants.

The former policeman told the Washington Examiner that both sitting Arizona senators, Mr Flake and John McCain, opposed Mr Trump's pardon. Over the course of three years, ending in 2007, officers under Arpaio reportedly failed to investigate more than 400 reported sex crimes, including dozens of alleged child molestations in which numerous victims were the children of undocumented immigrants.

But Trump's backing might give Arpaio the extra bump he needs to succeed in Arizona's Senate race.

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".

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Residents react to Arpaio's decision to run for US Senate