Joe Arpaio, a former sheriff from Arizona who was charged with violating the civil rights of individuals jailed under his watch, is planning to run for senator in his home state.
The former lawman from Maricopa County announced his intention to run for the seat being vacated by Republican Sen. Jeff Flake in an interview with the Washington Examiner published on Tuesday. He expressed his plans to work closely with President Donald Trump should he get elected.
“I have a lot to offer,” he said of his candidacy. “I’m a big supporter of President Trump.”
His support of the president shouldn’t be surprising. This past summer, facing the sentencing phase of a trial in which he was convicted of contempt of court after engaging in civil rights abuses in arresting individuals he suspected were undocumented immigrants, Trump used his pardon power to effectively dismiss those charges, for what appeared to be political reasons.
Trump also made comments about the pardon being made in order to get more attention for himself on television.
It’s unclear as of yet whether Arpaio has a good chance of winning in Arizona. The controversial sheriff lost a re-election bid in 2016, the same year that Trump won election to the presidency, including winning the state of Arizona.
That Trump won the state doesn’t mean that Arpaio, or any Republican candidate for that matter, is a sure thing in Arizona. Democrats are optimistic about their chances in the state moving forward, and The Cook Political Report rated the 2018 Senate race a “toss up” even before Flake announced he wasn’t running.
Hopefully, the voters of Arizona can select a candidate who doesn’t exemplify racial bias and bigotry as senator. The people of Arizona deserve an individual who will work for each and every constituent, fairly and equally. To ensure they get that, they must reject candidates who stand steadfastly against those principles.