Joe Arpaio announced Sunday that he is seeking a seventh term as sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, promising to re-open his “tent-city” jail and bring back tough-on-crime policies.
Arpaio—who was unseated in 2016 after spending 24 years on the job—is seeking to challenge the incumbent Paul Penzone, a Democrat, in the 2020 sheriff’s race.
“On this day, August 25, 2019, after consultation and approval from my wife of 61 years, Ava, I have decided to run to be re-elected Sheriff,” Arpaio said in a news release. “Watch out world! We are back!”
Arpaio, a big supporter of President Donald Trump, also added that he wants to “Make Maricopa County Safe Again.”
Arpaio served as Maricopa’s sheriff between 1993 and 2016. During that time he made a reputation for himself as being tough on crime for providing strict punishments to jail inmates and cracking down on illegal immigration.
His efforts drove civil liberties advocates crazy and made him popular among tough-on-crime conservatives.
Arpaio, who has called himself “America’s toughest sheriff,” made national headlines when he opened up his “Tent City” jail in the desert, where temperatures would reach over 100 degrees and inmates were made to wear pink jumpsuits.
In his run for office, he has promised to bring back the “Tent City” jail and crack down on “Arizona laws that deal with drug trafficking, sex trafficking, and other crimes associated with the border and illegal immigration.”
While Arpaio is well known for his strict jail policies, he is also well known for allegedly targeting illegal aliens.
Arpaio was found guilty of criminal contempt in 2017 for allegedly defying a judge appointed by former President Bill Clinton, who ordered him to stop patrolling and targeting illegal aliens.
Trump pardoned Arpaio within the year, citing his years of service to the country.
Arpaio ran for U.S. Senate in 2018, but lost his bid to then-Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ) in the Republican Primary.