Famous former Sheriff Joe Arpaio is thinking about running for Senate

December 17, 2017

Famous former Sheriff Joe Arpaio is thinking about running for Senate Chris Curtis / Shutterstock.com

Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s most recent comments are causing quite a stir inside the Beltway and among the media circle elites. The controversial sheriff, who was pardoned by President Donald Trump earlier this year after landing a conviction for criminal contempt of court, seems to not be satisfied with retirement, and is making overtures to a potential career change.

It was reported earlier this month that Sheriff Joe Arpaio is “seriously” considering a 2018 bid for the U.S. Senate to fill the seat of retiring Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.). 

According to reports, Sen. Flake will not be seeking re-election and will retire in January.

“America’s Toughest Sheriff”

Arpaio has been a vocal supporter of Trump since before the now-president landed the GOP nomination in 2016. He has been given the moniker “America’s Toughest Sheriff” for his hardline stance against illegal immigration, which endeared him to many on the right while angering many on the left.

As sheriff, he routinely rounded up illegal immigrants and deported them to their country of origin. Arpaio’s actions led to a bevy of lawsuits and attacks from the media, especially regarding his treatment of Latino inmates.

Joe lost his re-election bid for sheriff in 2016 after serving six terms for a total of 24 years — one of the longest terms for a sheriff in the U.S.

Despite his controversial actions, Sheriff Joe remains popular among many in Arizona and the country as a whole, and would likely garner the headstrong support of the president in his campaign.

Additionally, if Arpaio were to run and win, Trump would earn an unwavering ally in Congress to assist in pushing legislation through the Senate.

“Seriously Considering Running”

While Arpaio is an obvious choice for Trump’s endorsement, the current congressman in the seat, Sen. Flake, has been a vocal critic of the president, despite voting in favor of Trump’s policies over 90 percent of the time. Flake has given several speeches lambasting Trump, and also recently released a book, Conscience of a Conservative, which many believe to be a direct and unduly harsh critique of the president.

Flake’s approval rating in his home state of Arizona is an abysmal 30 percent among voters, meaning his ability to win a Republican primary is unusually low for an incumbent senator with no major scandals. This has opened the door for a potential newcomer to put his or her hat into the race, and “Sheriff Joe” may just be that man.

“I am seriously, seriously, seriously considering running for the U.S. Senate,” Arpaio told the Daily Beast on Thursday.

If he does run, it will be with the support of many Republicans across Arizona — and the nation.

Juan Sclafani

Juan Sclafani is a writer for Conservative Institute. He holds a J.D. from Liberty University and a B.A. from University of Nevada, Las Vegas.