The 85-year-old Arizonan-an unrepentant birther, nativist, and whiny baby-told the Washington Examiner that he will run on a platform of supporting the agenda of President Donald Trump, who pardoned Arpaio last year after a federal judge held the ex-sheriff in criminal contempt. Dr. Kelli Ward, a former Arizona State Senator, announced a run for the seat past year after unsuccessfully running against Republican John McCain in 2016. "They'll have their political firing squads and bring tons of money here, because they don't want to lose", Arpaio told The Examiner, adding "I just want to do everything I can to support our president".
While buying meat at a Deli counter in December, he told a Daily Beast reporter: "No, I would not consider Franks" seat, but I am considering running for the Senate, Flake's seat.
Before Trump granted the pardon, the American Civil Liberties Union, which sought the court injunction against Arpaio, said it would be 'a presidential endorsement of racism'.
"As a sheriff, I've done some controversial investigations", said Arpaio, who worked as a DEA agent during the time he coined the idea of a border wall to stop "the drugs that destroy our country".
Arpaio will join a now three-way race with Rep. Marth McSally and state Sen.
Arpaio lost a re-election bid in 2016 but was spared a possible jail sentence previous year when President Donald Trump pardoned his criminal contempt conviction for disobeying a judge's order in an immigration case.
Trump pardoned Arpaio of the charge in August.
Arpaio also waved off suggestions his candidacy could tilt the seat to a Democrat - as firebrand conservative Roy Moore's Republican run in Alabama did last December.
"If we can win here, we will not only have kept a disreputable candidate out of the chamber, but we will take one giant leap forward toward replacing Mitch McConnell as the Senate Majority Leader", Murphy said. But he had an ally in Trump, who had campaigned alongside Arpaio.
Trump won the state by 4 percentage points in 2016. But Arpaio was pardoned before his sentencing date arrived in October. But Arpaio said multiple times in the past that he was considering running for office - and ended up not running. The race looks like it could be a rare Senate pickup opportunity for Democrats in the 2018 campaign.