UPDATE (1/9/2018): Arpaio confirmed Tuesday morning that he is, indeed, running for Senate.
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. https://t.co/ANppBdDOtp
— Sheriff Joe Arpaio (@RealSheriffJoe) January 9, 2018
Read the original story below:
Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said Thursday that he may be setting his sights on a bid for higher office in Arizona.
“I am seriously, seriously, seriously considering running for the U.S. Senate,” Arpaio told the Daily Beast.
Arpaio hinted at his potential political plans after the Daily Beast asked him whether he intended to run for Rep. Trent Franks’ (R-AZ) seat after the Arizona congressman steps down January 31.
“No, I would not consider it, but I am considering running for the Senate, Flake’s seat,” Arpaio replied, referring to Sen. Jeff Flake’s (R-AZ) decision not to run for re-election.
Franks announced his resignation from Congress Thursday after two staff members accused him of “inappropriate behavior.”
Although this is the first time Arpaio has made clear his intention to run for Senate, the former sheriff hinted that he would seek political office at some point in the future after President Trump pardoned him for criminal contempt of court in August.
A judge appointed by former President Bill Clinton found Arpaio guilty in July of contempt of court for ignoring a court order barring his officers from taking illegal aliens into custody on the roadways.
The president announced that he would pardon Arpaio for his “admirable service” the country for serving in the Army, working in law enforcement as a police officer and then as a special agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and serving as sheriff for Maricopa County, Arizona.
“Sheriff Joe Arpaio is now 85 years old, and after more than 50 years of admirable service to our nation, he is worthy candidate for a presidential pardon,” the White House announced in a statement announcing President Trump’s decision to pardon Arpaio.
If Arpaio runs, he will face a crowded primary of Republican challengers, including former State Senator Dr. Kelli Ward.
A poll conducted in October after Flake announced his retirement from the Senate showed Ward as the favored candidate in the Republican primary. She also racked up endorsements from conservative commentator Laura Ingraham and Breitbart News chairman Stephen K. Bannon.