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 TrumpBusiness, ballots and battling opioids: Why the Universal Postal Union benefits the US Sanders supporters cry foul over Working Families endorsement of Warren California poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth 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 FlakeFlake donates to Democratic sheriff being challenged by Arpaio in Arizona The Hill's Morning Report - Trump says US-China trade talks to resume, hails potential trade with Japan, UK Joe Arpaio to run for Maricopa County sheriff in 2020  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.