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.
Arpaio, who will turn 86 in June, made the announcement in a tweet on Tuesday. He said:
Arpaio is running for the seat being vacated by Sen. Jeff Flake, a fellow Republican who has been a critic of Trump — and who announced last October that he would not seek re-election.
Arpaio announced his plan to run for the Senate less than a year after he was convicted of criminal contempt — a crime for which Trump pardoned Arpaio in August, after holding a rally for the president's supporters in Phoenix.
Famous for embracing the title of "America's Toughest Sheriff," Arpaio was convicted by a federal judge after the Maricopa lawman's defied an order to stop detaining immigrants simply because of their legal status. His deputies maintained that practice for 18 months after a court told Arpaio to stop.
The misdemeanor criminal conviction had carried a maximum sentence of six months in jail and a fine. But Arpaio was pardoned before his sentencing date arrived in October.