Joe Arpaio to run for Senate in Arizona

Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Sheriff Joe Arpaio @RealSheriffJoe

If he is elected, his victory could have a profound effect on undocumented students as President Donald Trump, his closest ally and the man who pardoned him, works to ramp up federal immigration enforcement.

"If I have been critical, it not because I relish criticizing the behavior of the president of the United States". Arpaio told The Associated Press at his office in a Phoenix suburb. He was later convicted of criminal contempt for disregarding a court order that said he needed to stop racially profiling Latinos.

Critics slammed the move, saying Trump acted to protect a political crony and didn't follow Department of Justice guidelines in issuing the pardon.

Arpaio, who turns 86 in June, will try to fill the seat left by Jeff Flake. Kelli Ward, in the GOP primary. 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.

"It's not just about being a stanch supporter of President Trump, it's about being a stanch supporter of the Trump agenda and the conservative movement", Beach said.

"Being a U.S. senator is a little different than being the sheriff because you can do a lot of things in the U.S. Senate, and I have many plans, believe me", he said. "In the same way that every Republican had to answer for Roy Moore and what he had done, now every Republican owns Arpaio and the president's decision to pardon him". Bobblehead dolls of Arpaio and Trump stand side by side atop a shelf.

Until now, Ward was considered to be the Republican front-runner. If Arpaio is her opponent, she stands a much better chance.

"I think he is a threat all the way because he's Trump round 2", longtime Republican strategist Stan Barnes told me.

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"Joe Arpaio is one of our nation's most notorious agents of racism and bigotry".

Democrats say they're not anxious if Arpaio ends up getting the nod heading towards November. John McCain, but didn't waste any time before announcing she would challenge Flake. "President Trump needs my help in the Senate", reads SheriffJoeForAmerica.com.

McSally has courted Trump's support in recent months while still presenting herself as middle of the road. According to CNN, Republican Party favorite Martha McSally is also expected to join the race.

Democrat Kyrsten Sinema will hope for a similar result in Arizona. He flirted with running for governor no fewer than five times over the years before abandoning the idea.

The legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union pointed out that Arpaio was unable to win re-election as Maricopa County sheriff in 2016.

Arpaio said he would accept a Trump endorsement but wouldn't seek it.

Known for his hawkish immigrations policies, Arpaio told the Examiner in a phone interview that he expects sharp criticism during his bid for Senate, but vows to hold true to his approach.

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