Joe Arpaio, the ex-sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona says he wants his old job back, two years after receiving a pardon from President Donald Trump for a federal contempt-of-court charge.
"Watch out world! We are back!" Arpaio, 87, said in a statement, announcing his 7th run for Maricopa County Sheriff in 2020. Arpaio had to vacate the position in 2016 after he was defeated by Democrat Sheriff Paul Penzone, who won 56% of the vote. Arpaio was first elected sheriff in 1992 and was known for his crusade against illegal immigration and was known for housing immigrants in outdoor tents in the 100-degree-plus Phoenix temperatures.
"The last four years have proven to be a time of lost opportunities to continue the kind of tough policing this county needs," said Arpaio. "Once back in office, I will use my position to restore pride to our law enforcement ranks, not only here, in the fourth-largest county in America, but across the country."
Arpaio lost his seat shortly after he was charged with contempt of court after he ignored a federal judge's order to cease arresting immigrants solely on a suspicion that they were in the country illegally. The ex-sheriff was convicted in 2017 with President Trump pardoning him a month later, citing his admiration for Arpaio's work "protecting the public from the scourges of crime and illegal immigration."
The 87-year-old former sheriff also ran in the Republican primary race for the open U.S. Senate Seat, ultimately losing to Rep. Martha McSally.
In his statement, Arpaio warned that his enemies would be working hard to make sure he wasn't re-elected.
"During the past several years, his opponents, activists and political figures on the Left, have utilized slanderous attacks on him through the fake and biased news media to try and keep him from being heard, but these efforts have failed," the statement said. "However, he expects these attacks will continue in full force, even more so with today's announcement."
The former sheriff will also have to run against Jerry Sheridan, who served under Arpaio as his chief deputy for six years.
Arpaio will be running with a familiar slogan for many: "Make Maricopa County Safe Again."
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