Joe Arpaio, the controversial Arizona lawman who recently received a pardon from President Donald Trump from charges of criminal contempt, is reportedly considering a run for the U.S. Senate following his brush with prison time.
“I could run for mayor, I could run for legislator, I could run for Senate,” Arpaio said, taking aim at Flake and other Republican politicians who have failed to support the president’s agenda in recent months in order to curry favor with left-leaning constituents.
“I’m sure getting a lot of people around the state asking me to [run against Flake],” Arpaio revealed. “All I’m saying is the door is open and we’ll see what happens. I’ve got support. I know what support I have.
When he left office in January, Arpaio vowed that he would not run for public office again. But “with what I’ve seen happening in recent months, especially what’s happening with our president, I said, ‘Hey, why not?’”
He also took aim at critics who have dismissed Arpaio’s political ambitions based on his age alone.
“Why do you say ‘wow’?” he wondered. “They just say Sheriff Joe Arpaio comma 85 years old. Why do they always say that? … I’m proud to be my age. I work 14 hours a day. If anyone thinks my age is going to hold me back, I’ve got news for them. The bottom line is there’s no way I’m going to go fishing. I have no hobbies.”
Flake is already facing a primary challenge from former state Sen. Kelli Ward, who is more ideologically aligned with Trump. In a recent campaign ad titled “Naming Jeff Flake,” Ward pointed to the president’s remarks at last week’s rally in Phoenix, where he declined to directly refer to Flake.
“The president doesn’t need to name names because I will,” Ward said in the 45-second ad. “Jeff Flake is weak and he’s failed us in the Senate.”