Arizona Republican Joe Arpaio, the Maricopa County sheriff formerly convicted of criminal contempt before being pardoned by president Donald Trump, has announced a run for Arizona Senate, hoping to succeed retiring presidential-critic, Republican Sen. Jeff Flake.
"I am running for the U.S. Senate from the Great State of Arizona, for one unwavering reason: to support the agenda and policies of President Donald Trump in his mission to Make America Great Again," Arpaio stated in via twitter Tuesday morning.
According to the wall street journal, a federal judge last year found Mr. Arpaio guilty of criminal contempt for defying a 2011 court order to halt immigration raids, but Mr. Trump granted him a pardon one month later, praising the sheriff for what he called “selfless public service.” According to The New York Times, Arpaio opened an outdoor jail known as Tent City, turning the desert heat into a punitive element, and forced inmates to wear striped jumpsuits and pink underwear.
Arpaio conducted his immigration investigation, known as "saturation patrols", in known Hispanic neighborhoods, often lacking any evidence of criminal activity and, routinely detained people beyond their court-ordered release dates so they could be handed over to federal immigration authorities.
Mr.Trump's response to the campaign announcement is still left question, but Arpaio's loyalty to the president is not. Mr. Arpaio has been a long standing Trump supporter, campaigning with him in 2016.
“I got a little disturbed about how some people in the Senate were treating the president,” Mr. Arpaio said in a telephone interview with the New York times. “I think I can bring some new blood to Washington. I carried a gun and a badge up until not long ago, so age means nothing. I have life experience and common sense, which I intend to use for the people of Arizona."
While most of Candidate Arpaio's policies are currently unknown, his stance on immigration as Sheriff is highly regarded as racially biased, despite that fact that Arpaio maintains that his signs say nothing about ethnic backgrounds.
According to AZ central.com, Arpaio funneled nearly $70 million in a long-running racial-profiling defense case in 2008, when he was still sheriff (Melendres vs. Arpaio). A separate article on the same website, cited that many of Arpiao's then-officers criticized the understaffed jails, saying they believed that the sheriff prioritized his political career over the well-being of this employees.
Officers and staff cited urging legal bills of a racial-profiling suit and their toll on the department's funding.
Snopes.com confirmed that Arpaio instituted a hotline or calling in tips and information about people living and working in Maricopa County illegally. In September of 2007, he unveiled “moving billboards” in the form of four trucks and eight inmate passenger vans plastered with the hot line number and signs reading “Do Not Illegally Enter” and “Help Sheriff Joe Arpaio Fight Illegal Immigration and Trafficking.”