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Joe Arpaio, controversial sheriff pardoned by Trump, enters Arizona Senate race

10 January 2018, 01:08 | Terri Saunders

Joe Arpaio, controversial sheriff pardoned by Trump, enters Arizona Senate race

Sheriff Joe Arpaio

As Common Dreams reported, Trump pardoned Arpaio last August, rescuing him from a possible year-long prison sentence.

"I have a lot to offer", Arpaio, 85, told The Washington Examiner.

He became internationally known for jailing inmates in outdoor tents during triple-digit heat, forcing them to wear pink underwear, conducting dozens of immigration crackdowns over a nine-year period, retaliating against his political enemies and failing to adequately investigate more than 400 sex-crimes complaints that were made to his office. Kelli Ward (R-Ariz.) in the Republican primary.

The field of candidates for the U.S. Senate seat held by Arizona Republican Jeff Flake is growing and may grow some more.

Arpaio endorsed Trump in his presidential run and appeared alongside him at 2016 presidential campaign appearances, including a large outdoor event in the lawman's hometown of Fountain Hills outside of Phoenix.

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Republican Congresswoman Martha McSally is expected to make an announcement she's running for Flake's seat later this week.

"This started under Obama and Holder 60 days after they took office and it took them all these years to get me on a contempt of court charge, a misdemeanor". Arpaio lost his 2016 reelection bid and, in 2017, was convicted of criminal contempt of court for violating a judge's order related to immigration round-ups.

Arpaio gained a national image for his opposition to illegal immigrants, being seen as a law and order cop. Trump carried the county by three points; Arpaio ran 12 points behind Penzone, losing by more than 130,000 votes.

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.

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". "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 proud being an Italian American. I'm proud my father, mother came over, proud of it. "That's just a big picture that I have", he added. I don't say that.

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