Arpaio, Sinema and more: Candidates vying for Sen. Jeff Flake's seat

Arpaio, Sinema and more: Candidates vying for Sen. Jeff Flake's seat

Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio says he's running for the open U.S. Senate seat in his home state of Arizona so he can support President Donald Trump, who pardoned him previous year after Arpaio was convicted of disobeying a judge's order barring him from detaining suspected undocumented immigrants.

Jeff Flake announced he would not seek re-election in 2018, former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio announced he will run for the seat.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio is pictured waiting for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump during a campaign event in Phoenix, Arizona, U.S. October 29, 2016.

In his announcement, Arpaio said "the one unwavering reason" he has made a decision to run is "to support the agenda and policies" of Trump.

"And yeah, there is a lot of people that do not want me to go to Washington, including a few Republicans".

"I'm not going to get into my personal life, but I will say we have four grandkids and some have a different ethnic and racial background". "I think by this time next month, he may not be in the race". Arpaio, who turns 86 this year, is older than any current US senator and would be the oldest freshman senator ever elected.

Arpaio made a name for himself as "America's Toughest Sheriff" through targeting immigrant communities in Arizona.

But the consequences for the Republican Party could extend far past the borders of Arizona if Arpaio moves forward with a Senate run. In July 2017, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton convicted Arpaio of criminal contempt for violating the original order.

Arpaio is running for a soon-to-be-vacant U.S. Senate seat in his native Arizona after Jeff Flake retires
Arpaio is running for a soon-to-be-vacant U.S. Senate seat in his native Arizona after Jeff Flake retires

But President Trump issued Arpaio a pardon just days later.

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

But he also packs nationwide fund-raising clout and strong support among the Arizona's Republican base. "I did nothing wrong and our president knew that when he pardoned me".

Throughout the 2000s, Arpaio's office routinely conducted traffic stops in predominantly Hispanic neighborhoods in search of undocumented immigrants, who were then turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. People may say I'm insane.

Trump said Arpaio would have won again in 2016 had the filing of charges not influenced voters.

National Republicans have landed their top recruit for the seat: Rep. Martha McSally is set to holds events Friday in Tucson, Phoenix and Prescott where she'll make what's being billed as a "special announcement". And conservative Kelli Ward is already in the race - setting up another showdown between the establishment-backed candidate in McSally and anti-establishment forces after a similar battle cost the GOP a Senate seat in Alabama.

"I have a far-out plan, which may look stupid", he said, noting there would be no amnesty provisions.


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