Arpaio officially files for Senate run

Arpaio officially files for Senate run

Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio (R) officially filed paperwork to run for Arizona's Senate seat in play during November's midterm elections.

The 85-year-old Arpaio submitted his candidacy earlier this week, according to a filing with the Federal Election Commission. 

The former sheriff lost his reelection bid in November 2016 after two decades of serving as Maricopa County's top lawman and developing a reputation for himself as "America's Toughest Sheriff" for his "Tent City" prison complex and oft-criticized brutal treatment of prisoners.

In 2017, he was pardoned by President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump passes Pence a dangerous buck Overnight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — Trump taps Pence to lead coronavirus response | Trump accuses Pelosi of trying to create panic | CDC confirms case of 'unknown' origin | Schumer wants .5 billion in emergency funds Trump nods at reputation as germaphobe during coronavirus briefing: 'I try to bail out as much as possible' after sneezes MORE after being found guilty of criminal contempt of court for refusing to heed a judge's order to stop profiling Hispanics at traffic stops for the purpose of immigration checks.

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In a statement last week, Arpaio said he was running for Senate to provide a reliable vote for Trump's agenda in the Senate.

“I have a lot to offer. I’m a big supporter of President Trump,” he told The Washington Examiner.

“I’m going to have to work hard; you don’t take anything for granted. But I would not be doing this if I thought that I could not win. I’m not here to get my name in the paper, I get that every day, anyway,” he said.

The former sheriff also played a major role in the "birther" movement questioning former President Obama’s birthplace, a conspiracy theory that Trump himself flirted with until deep into his own presidential bid. Democrats and others have called the movement racist.

Arizona's Senate seat in play in 2018 is currently held by retiring Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane Flake70 former senators propose bipartisan caucus for incumbents McSally ties Democratic rival Kelly to Sanders in new ad McSally launches 2020 campaign MORE (R), who announced last year he would not seek reelection. He made the announcement, in the face of a tough primary challenge, in a fiery speech on the Senate floor denouncing the president.