Former Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio announced his intentions to run for a seventh term in 2020, exactly two years after President Trump pardoned him.
“Watch out world! We are back!” Arpaio, 87, said in a statement on Sunday.
He served as the county’s sheriff from 1993 until 2016 when he lost his most recent reelection bid following a contempt of court charge for ignoring a judge’s order to stop arresting immigrants on suspicion that they had entered the United States illegally.
“The last four years have proven to be a time of lost opportunities to continue the kind of tough policing this county needs,” he wrote. “Once back in office, I will use my position to restore pride to our law enforcement ranks, not only here, in the fourth-largest county in America, but across the country.”
Joe Arpaio announces 2020 bid for 7th term as Sheriff.
Thousands want me to run for Sheriff. Today Aug 25 announcing run for Sheriff Important day for me. Wife's Birthday & Pres Trump Pardoned me. Ready for bruising, bitter campaign. Never back down.https://t.co/4dkuVCtCUa
— Sheriff Joe Arpaio (@RealSheriffJoe) August 25, 2019
Arpaio was convicted in July 2017 but was pardoned by Trump just a month later. At the time, the president commended him for “protecting the public from the scourges of crime and illegal immigration.”
The ex-sheriff then ran in the Arizona Republican Senate primary to replace then-outgoing Sen. Jeff Flake in 2018, but ultimately lost to Martha McSally. While McSally went on to lose the seat to Democrat Kyrsten Sinema, she was later appointed to fill the late Sen. John McCain’s Senate seat.
Arizona’s current sheriff, Paul Penzone, the Democrat who defeated him in 2016, plans to run again in 2020.