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Joe Arpaio running for Senate in Arizona

Joe Arpaio running for Senate in Arizona

Arizona Republican Joe Arpaio, the former Maricopa County sheriff who became famous for his controversial stance on immigration, has announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate, saying he wants to join Congress so he can help President Trump.

He faces stiff competition for the seat in the form of Kelli Ward, a former state senator who already has significant financial backing for a re-run.

With 85 years and a path stained by hostility to immigrants, Arpaio made his name the synonym of the most macabre American nationalism. As member station KJZZ reports, former state Sen.

Arpaio was defeated in the 2016 election after 24 years in office as sheriff.

Arpaio, who would be 86 by the time he is sworn into the Senate, is running for the seat formerly occupied by Jeff Flake, who announced in October that he will resign at the end of his term.

Arpaio said that he would support some sort of legalization since Trump has signaled that he is willing to compromise with Democrats to give legal status to aliens in the discontinued Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. "I'm a big supporter of President Trump", Arpaio said.

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Arpaio was pardoned by President Trump in 2017.

Arpaio lost a re-election bid in 2016 but was spared a possible jail sentence past year when President Donald Trump pardoned his criminal contempt conviction for disobeying a judge's order in an immigration case. She was also backed by Steve Bannon - though Ward distanced herself from the former White House chief strategist after Bannon's comments in a new book drew condemnation from Trump. And McSally, like Luther Strange, is the establishment preference - though Republicans argue McSally, a former fighter pilot who has proven her ability to raise money and win close races, is a stronger candidate.

Not many of Arpaio's specific policy ideas are known at this point, given the early stage of the campaign.

Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy immediately sent supporters a fundraising email seeking contributions to be split between his campaign account and Sinema's. "You get the same time for barking dogs", Arpaio said, unapologetic of the law enforcement process he followed as sheriff.

Arpaio's entry into the Senate race prompted immediate criticism from Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez, who released a statement saying, "Joe Arpaio is one of our nation's most notorious agents of racism and bigotry".


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