Just days after being pardoned by President Trump, former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio floated the possibility of running against one of Trump's favorite targets and biggest critics in Congress, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.). Arpaio, who was convicted in July of criminal contempt for defying an order to stop imprisoning suspected undocumented immigrants, told The Washington Examiner he's been "getting a lot of people around the state" asking him to challenge Flake. "All I'm saying is the door is open and we'll see what happens. I've got support. I know what support I have," Arpaio said, also suggesting he could run for mayor or legislator.
When Arpaio lost re-election in 2016, ending his 24-year tenure as sheriff, he swore off running for office again. But now, he says, he feels Republicans are "insufficiently supportive of the president," whom he thinks is "a great man," the Examiner reported. Arpaio is also fed up with the suggestions that, at 85 years old, he's too old to run. "[T]here is discrimination against senior citizens, big time," said Arpaio, who was convicted of racial profiling.
Already, Flake is facing a primary challenge from former state senator Kelli Ward, who seemingly earned Trump's endorsement after the president sent a tweet that bashed Flake as "WEAK on borders, crime, and a non-factor in [the] Senate."