Campaign

Former Sheriff Arpaio launches bid for mayor in Arizona town

Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio (R) on Wednesday announced he is running for mayor of Fountain Hills, Ariz., a suburb of Phoenix.

The 89-year-old Arpaio is best known for his aggressive and unorthodox immigration enforcement as sheriff, a distinction that earned him several civil rights lawsuits over the course of his career.

In a statement on Twitter, Arpaio said he “has led a lifetime of service to country and community and wants to continue serving in the community he knows best.”

“Among his priorities as Mayor, Arpaio will focus on attracting new businesses to the city to create jobs and economic growth and continue his fight against illegal immigration, human smuggling and drug trafficking,” continues the statement.

 

A former Drug Enforcement Administration agent, Arpaio served as sheriff for 24 years, first elected in 1992 and ousted by Democrat Paul Penzone in 2016.

Arpaio’s defeat in 2016 was at least in part attributed to charges of contempt of court, which were filed weeks before the election. 

In 2017, Arpaio was found guilty of contempt of court for continuing to identify immigrants for detention using racial profiling, despite a court ordering his office to cease those detentions.

Under Arpaio, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office was investigated by the Department of Justice on several occasions, including a 2008 investigation that led to the Department of Homeland Security withdrawing its cooperation agreement with the local agency.

A 2012 investigation on discriminatory practices against Hispanics eventually led to Arpaio’s 2017 conviction. 

A staunch supporter of former President Trump, Arpaio received a presidential pardon shortly after his conviction.

In 2018, Arpaio launched a U.S. Senate bid that fizzled, and in 2020 he lost the Republican primary election to once again run for Maricopa sheriff.

Tags Arizona Donald Trump Joe Arpaio
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