Controversial ex-sheriff Joe Arpaio announces Arizona Senate bid

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Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was spared a possible jail sentence past year when his political ally President Donald Trump pardoned his criminal conviction for disobeying a judge's order, announced Tuesday he plans to run for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Jeff Flake.

Arpaio was spared a possible jail sentence past year when President Trump pardoned his conviction for disobeying a judge's order in an immigration case.

"You see, this is a very personal email, and I need my most trusted and dependable supporters to help me get it right, because President Trump needs my help, and I have to make a very big decision. very soon", the email said before going on to solicit donations to his defense fund.

The former Maricopa County sheriff told the Examiner that he's entering the race to replace Republican Jeff Flake, who said in October that he is not running for re-election.

"Oh, I would have a lot of fun", Arpaio replied.

"His candidacy shows that conservatives in Arizona are fed up with the status quo and know that we need senators who support President Trump and the America First agenda".

"I think he brings a great knowledge from his own experience on immigration issues", said Hodgson.

"I think I can make a difference".

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"I'm not here to get my name in the paper, I get that every day, anyway", Arpaio told the newspaper. Arpaio, who turns 86 this year, is older than any current USA senator and would be the oldest freshman senator ever elected. Brutal police tactics, racial profiling and his ignorance of the judicial orders, were just some of the reasons why he was convicted in early 2017, until President Trump chose to pardon him, in a gesture of gratitude for his loyalty. Arpaio said. "He didn't have the guts to face the people to get re-elected".

"I have a far-out plan, which may look stupid", Arpaio told the Examiner.

It should come as no surprise, then, that the longtime Trump supporter immediately honed in on the president's voting base. National Republican leaders would like to see a run by the more mainstream Martha McSally, now in the U.S. House; she is expected to make an announcement Friday, CNN reports.

Arpaio is Arizona's answer to Roy Moore in Alabama.

Arpaio earned a national reputation by taking aggressive action to arrest immigrants in the country illegally, but the courts said he had used immigration patrols to racially profile Latinos.

Flake, Arpaio, Ward and McSally are all Republicans.

Arpaio's announcement was quickly condemned across Twitter, including by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which has filed several lawsuits against Arpaio.

"He's saying that I'm not going to last more than a month, that I'll leave, but what about him leaving?"

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