Former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio became the third Republican with a conviction to jump into a major 2018 race, The Washington Post's Aaron Blake noticed Tuesday. Arpaio is running for the soon-to-be-vacated seat of Sen. Jeff Flake (R) and is still legally guilty of criminal contempt of court despite President Trump's decision to pardon him last year. "The judge in Arpaio's case has said pardons moot punishments in criminal cases but don't erase convictions," The Associated Press reported in October.
Some 2,000 miles away from Phoenix, in West Virginia, Don Blankenship has filed to run in the Republican primary for a chance to take on incumbent Sen. Joe Manchin (D). The former chief executive of coal company Massey Energy, Blankenship served a year in prison for a misdemeanor charge of conspiring to violate federal mine safety standards after a 2010 mine explosion killed 29 people.
In New York, a convicted Republican is eyeing a chance to serve in Congress — again. Michael Grimm, a former congressman representing Staten Island, has formally announced plans to take on Rep. Dan Donovan (R) for the Republican nomination. Grimm formerly served seven months in prison for one count of tax evasion. "A convicted felon, Grimm isn't prohibited from running for federal office," SIlive.com explains. "The Constitution has age, citizenship, and residency requirements — it is silent on felony status and thus it's allowed. The state Legislature has a specific prohibition on those convicted of a felony — they're not allowed to serve. But other state and city positions are fair game."
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Democrats are not exempt from convictions, either. In New Mexico, David Alcon is running for the 2nd Congressional District seat. He was convicted of misdemeanor trespassing and aggravated stalking almost 10 years ago and was arrested on a felony stalking charge in October 2017, The New Mexican reports. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has announced that it will not support his candidacy.
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