A controversial former sheriff who is closely aligned with President Trump says he will campaign for a Senate seat representing Arizona.
Joe Arpaio adds that he will jump into the Republican Senate primary to ultimately replace retiring Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ).
“I have a lot to offer,” he told The Washington Examiner Tuesday. “I’m a big supporter of President Trump.”
“I’m going to have to work hard,” the former Maricopa County, Arizona sheriff added. “You don’t take anything for granted.”
“But I would not be doing this if I thought that I could not win. I’m not here to get my name in the paper, I get that everyday, anyway.”
Arpaio’s campaign further complicates the GOP’s Senate primary in Arizona, which is scheduled to conclude in late August.
Former state Sen. Kelli Ward (R-AZ) has already entered the race, and she has since been endorsed by former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon.
Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ) is also expected to enter the fray, but she has not yet formally declared such an intention.
Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) is the heavy favorite in her political party’s primary to meet the Republican candidate in a general election.
Maricopa County includes Phoenix and the surrounding suburbs, and Arpaio served as its elected sheriff for 24 years until his ouster in 2016 by Democrat Paul Penzone.
Trump pardoned Arpaio last year, sparing the former law officer from a jail sentence after he was convicted of criminal contempt.
Arpaio was convicted of the charge in 2017 for ignoring a federal court order in a racial-profiling case.
The court order involved a racial profiling case against the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department.
The department practiced a policy of detaining immigrants based solely on their immigration status, leading several Hispanics to claim they were racially discriminated against.
Arpaio faced up to six months in jail before his pardon, which was the first of Trump’s presidency.