America's toughest senator? Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio announces run for Senate

Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio announced via Twitter Tuesday that he will be running for Senate."I ...

Posted: Jan 9, 2018 10:12 PM
Updated: Jan 9, 2018 10:12 PM

Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio announced via Twitter Tuesday that he will be 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," he tweeted.

His campaign website takes it a step further, hitting just right tone to mobilize Trump's base.

"We cannot sit idly by while our nation faces unprecedented challenges. President Trump needs my help in the Senate," reads SheriffJoeForAmerica.com. "He needs a conservative vote he can count on, and a voice in the Senate who knows first hand the threats our nation is dealing with. And, that's why I'm running for United States Senate. ... I can't in good conscience sit back in retirement knowing that my grandchildren will inherit a country worse off than the America I've spent my entire life defending."

A polarizing figure in Arizona, Arpaio will be trying to win the seat now held but Sen. Jeff Flake, who announced in October that he would not seek re-election.

Arizona's Family Political Editor Dennis Welch said he was "pretty shocked by all this right now."

Welch confirmed with Arpaio spokesman Chad Willems that the former "toughest sheriff in America" will be filing the necessary paperwork with the Secretary of State's Office later today.

Welch, however, also wondered exactly how serious Arpaio is about becoming a senator.

"If he does take a serious run at this, this will dramatically shake up this race as Mr. Arpaio [is] definitely a polarizing figure with the general public but is still really beloved by a lot of Republican voters out there," Welch said.

Arpaio would be facing Kelli Ward, a former state senator, in the Republican primary. Ward made headlines in August when her campaign sent out a letter with the infamous picture of comedienne Kathy Griffin holding a decapitated, bloody head in the image of Trump.

Should Arpaio get past the primary, he would likely face Democrat Kyrsten Sinema, who announced her candidacy in September. Right now she represents Arizona's 9th Congressional District in the House.

Is Arpaio for real?

[I'm] still kind of skeptical about how serious he's going to take this run," Welch said. "He really likes a lot of the attention; he likes the media out there. He's been out of office for a little bit over a year .... We're going to see this play out here over the next few days, next few weeks, next few months. How serious is he about this?"

Arpaio has always exuded an abundance of confidence, even in defeat.

"I still got 640,000 votes. A lot of people still support me," he told Scott Pasmore in a candid interview two weeks after being voted out of office. "I would almost bet that those who voted against me this time probably support me."

That unwavering self-assurance hsa not changed.

"I'm going to have to work hard; you don't take anything for granted," Arpaio told Washington Examiner reporter David N. Drucker for the story that broke the news. "But I would not being [sic] doing this if I thought that I could not win."

Welch said that while Arpaio might do well in the Republican primary, "the General Election [is] a whole different story."

"You've got to remember, he lost by 12, 13 points in Maricopa County in 2016," Welch explained. "That's a big deal. That shows that he did have some erosion there with his Republican base supporters. ... But if he does get in, he does take this very serious, I think he's got a really great shot at making this really competitive in that primary election.

"He's proven he can definitely raise the money to be competitive and ruin a major campaign here for the U.S. Senate seat.," Welch continued.

Since losing his run for an unprecedented seventh term as Maricopa County's sheriff to Paul Penzone in November 2016, speculation has run rampant about what Arpaio's next chapter might look like.

In November, the SheriffJoeLegalDefenseFund.com sent an email to Arpaio's supporters asking whether the former sheriff should throw his hat into the Senate ring.

"You see, this is a very personal email, and I need my most trusted and dependable supporters to help me get it right, because President Trump needs my help, and I have to make a very big decision. . . very soon," the email said before going on to solicit donations to his defense fund.

Convicted of criminal contempt in 2017, Arpaio, now 85, received a presidential pardon in August and has since been working to remove the conviction from his record so it cannot be used against him in potential future legal actions.

"I feel very privileged for the president to issue this... pardon," Arpaio told Arizona Family at the time. "He's a big supporter of law enforcement. I know it came from his heart,"

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1474289

Reported Deaths: 20385
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion2021122504
Lake996361476
Allen909861007
Hamilton71271540
St. Joseph63433750
Elkhart48401623
Vanderburgh46765523
Tippecanoe42550330
Johnson37591519
Hendricks35518458
Porter34097464
Madison28261531
Clark25349321
Vigo25076343
LaPorte23079307
Monroe22397244
Howard21556372
Delaware21108365
Hancock18494218
Bartholomew17598212
Kosciusko17580201
Warrick16259212
Wayne15851300
Floyd15521252
Grant14992296
Morgan14070230
Boone13268136
Noble11509140
Dearborn11468112
Henry11427201
Shelby11276150
Marshall11115167
Dubois10954152
Jackson10280104
Cass10012142
DeKalb10005129
Lawrence9973220
Huntington9893139
Gibson9236125
Montgomery9105140
Knox8839124
Harrison8754111
Whitley850471
Steuben8403103
Jasper8125114
Putnam800497
Clinton800194
Miami7961133
Jefferson7663124
Wabash7651139
Ripley7053111
Adams6555101
Daviess6332127
Scott632686
White606581
Greene5958111
Clay592773
Decatur5843118
Wells5831120
Jennings578976
Fayette5687121
Posey535146
LaGrange517096
Randolph4972129
Washington487068
Owen484998
Fountain469079
Spencer441856
Starke435686
Sullivan433465
Fulton428290
Orange415182
Jay406464
Rush398737
Carroll374749
Franklin371250
Perry368755
Vermillion348762
Pike311345
Tipton309974
Parke308938
Pulaski269173
Blackford269055
Newton229559
Brown223654
Benton214821
Crawford213031
Switzerland192414
Martin184622
Warren170820
Union164419
Ohio120616
Unassigned0742

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2418722

Reported Deaths: 31245
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin2613932065
Cuyahoga2576953018
Hamilton1679311714
Montgomery1114691604
Summit1070311391
Lucas899971160
Butler79406942
Stark750951400
Lorain63061792
Warren50411475
Mahoning49909915
Lake46923605
Clermont44079429
Delaware39138212
Trumbull38726755
Medina37708419
Licking37221408
Fairfield34115334
Greene32452422
Portage31473360
Clark30496445
Richland28493423
Wood27867297
Allen24603395
Miami23075395
Muskingum22525245
Columbiana22202403
Wayne21380356
Tuscarawas18940427
Erie18137222
Ashtabula17989342
Marion17633232
Scioto16712207
Ross16314252
Pickaway15631178
Hancock15407228
Geauga15281223
Lawrence13931186
Huron13460182
Union1340984
Belmont13369247
Jefferson12969258
Sandusky12862199
Athens11991106
Knox11595198
Seneca11540200
Ashland10830178
Darke10786198
Washington10644168
Auglaize10247142
Crawford9949175
Shelby9839157
Brown9507140
Fulton9310150
Guernsey9179117
Defiance9116135
Highland9100148
Logan9035142
Clinton8810127
Mercer8709111
Madison8654106
Preble8069162
Williams7937135
Putnam7780135
Ottawa7675121
Champaign7606112
Jackson7409117
Perry720798
Coshocton7076136
Morrow700182
Fayette670987
Hardin6251128
Pike621786
Gallia598191
Adams5844124
Van Wert5824121
Henry570793
Hocking5568104
Carroll4853100
Wyandot485290
Holmes4760161
Paulding404464
Meigs377473
Monroe300268
Noble281551
Harrison281361
Morgan278148
Vinton240845
Unassigned08
Fort Wayne
Partly Cloudy
38° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 28°
Angola
Mostly Cloudy
36° wxIcon
Hi: 37° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 26°
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
38° wxIcon
Hi: 39° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 30°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
38° wxIcon
Hi: 42° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 28°
Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
40° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 31°
A gusty northwest wind ushers in another round of Arctic air which lingers for the rest of the workweek.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events