DNC chair: 'Accused child molester' and 'convicted criminal' the best GOP have to offer

DNC chair: 'Accused child molester' and 'convicted criminal' the best GOP have to offer
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Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Tom PerezThomas Edward PerezClinton’s top five vice presidential picks Government social programs: Triumph of hope over evidence Labor’s 'wasteful spending and mismanagement” at Workers’ Comp MORE on Tuesday swiftly condemned former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's (R) entrance into the Arizona Senate race, targeting Republicans for supporting both Arpaio and former Alabama Senate candidate Roy MooreRoy Stewart MooreAlabama GOP senate candidate says 'homosexual activities' have ruined TV, country's moral core The Hill's Morning Report — Trump retreats on census citizenship question Alabama senator says Trump opposed to Sessions Senate bid MORE (R).

In a statement released Tuesday afternoon by the DNC, Perez accused the GOP of not being able to find better candidates for office than an "accused child molester" and a "racist former sheriff."

“It’s a sad and disturbing sign of moral decay in the modern Republican Party that a racist former sheriff and convicted criminal in Arizona and an accused child molester in Alabama are the best they have to offer," Perez said in the statement.

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"Joe Arpaio is one of our nation’s most notorious agents of racism and bigotry. He has spent his career tearing apart immigrant families and devastating Latino communities, and he has no place in the U.S. Senate," he added.

Moore, a former Alabama judge, was defeated in December by now-Sen. Doug Jones (D) in the state's special election. Moore's campaign was dogged by allegations that Moore engaged in sexual misconduct with teenage girls when he was a district attorney. Moore has denied the allegations.

Arpaio announced his candidacy earlier Tuesday, saying in a tweet that his main reason for running was to support President TrumpDonald John TrumpChelsea Clinton announces birth of third child Ukrainian officials and Giuliani are sharing back-channel campaign information: report Trump attacks 'the Squad' as 'racist group of troublemakers' MORE's agenda in the Senate. Arpaio will run for the seat to be vacated by Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeFlake urges Republicans to condemn 'vile and offensive' Trump tweets Flake responds to Trump, Jimmy Carter barbs: 'We need to stop trying to disqualify each other' Jeff Flake responds to Trump's 'greener pastures' dig on former GOP lawmakers MORE (R-Ariz.), who last year announced that he would not seek reelection.

"I am running for the U.S. Senate from the Great State of Arizona, for one unwavering reason: to support the agenda and policies of President Donald Trump in his mission to Make America Great Again," Arpaio tweeted Tuesday.

Arpaio's only challenger in the state Republican primary so far is former state Sen. Kelli Ward (R), who is endorsed by former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon, but Rep. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyTrump angry more Republicans haven't defended his tweets: report Republicans scramble to contain Trump fallout On The Money: Senators unload on Facebook cryptocurrency | Tech giants on defensive at antitrust hearing | Democrats ask Labor Department to investigate Amazon warehouses MORE (R-Ariz.) is also expected to jump into the race.

Trump won the state by 4 points in 2016. Arizona has not elected a Democratic senator since 1988.