Ex-Arizona sheriff, Trump ally Joe Arpaio running for Senate

Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Disgraced ex-Sheriff Joe Arpaio was officially pardoned by President Donald Trump a year ago - and now he's running for the Senate.

While major media outlets tend to portray Arpaio as a "fiery" political figure known for his "hardline views" on immigration, his record is far more insidious than these descriptions indicate, as Nathan Robinson of Current Affairs makes clear in a detailed examination of the former sheriff's record published shortly after Arpaio was pardoned by Trump. Jeff Flake's (R-Ariz.) seat when he leaves office.

"Sheriff Joe has been a patriot, but at the end of the day in terms of running for this election, Kelli Ward is going to be hard to beat", said Eric Beach, a political strategist for Ward's campaign.

DNC Chairman Tom Perez says it's "sad and disturbing" that Arpaio is running for the Senate seat held by Republican Jeff Flake.

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Arpaio was pardoned by President Donald Trump in August 2017 after he was convicted of disregarding a court order with respect to alleged racial profiling.

Before Trump granted the pardon, the American Civil Liberties Union, which sought the court injunction against Arpaio, said it would be 'a presidential endorsement of racism'.

Arpaio, dubbed "America's toughest sheriff" as a result of his proactive enforcement of illegal immigration, drew media attention after he was pardoned by President Donald Trump previous year. Martha McSally are also running to be the GOP nominee for the seat.

The Examiner noted Arpaio is "virtually guaranteed" to rev up a Republican base that pushed Flake into retirement because of his feud with the president. John McCain in 2016, the Washington Examiner reports.

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The Democratic candidate in a race that represents one of the party's best pick-up opportunities on the 2018 midterm map is Rep. Kyrsten Sinema.

In 2016, facing a flood of out-of-state money, a well-organized Latino get-out-the-vote campaign, and the criminal contempt charges, Arpaio lost by a stunning 10 points.

Arpaio enters the race with substantial baggage, from his 24 years in office and the presidential pardon. "You get the same time for barking dogs", Arpaio said, unapologetic of the law enforcement process he followed as sheriff. "He has 100% name recognition in the Latino community and will be enormously helpful to Democrats in Arizona and in every other Senate and House race in 2018 if he makes a serious run for the Senate".

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