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Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio Announces Senate Run

Joe Arpaio, the controversial former sheriff of Arizona's Maricopa County, officially announced his Senate run in an interview published Tuesday with the Washington Examiner.

"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," Arpaio later said on Twitter, linking to the Washington Examiner interview.

Arpaio is a close ally of Trump, who spared the former sheriff jail time for a contempt of court conviction last year with a presidential pardon. While many conservatives applauded the tough-on-crime tactics of "America's toughest sheriff," Democrats and immigration activists criticized Arpaio's methods as being unconstitutional. Arpaio's time in office was marked by allegations of racial profiling, wasteful spending, and human rights abuses, as well as heated feuds with the press.

Trump is likely to throw his support behind the 85-year-old Arpaio as he heads into the Republican primary in August with a platform focused almost exclusively on combating illegal immigration.

"Being a U.S. senator is a little different than being the sheriff, because you can do a lot of things in the U.S. Senate, and I have many plans," Arpaio told the Washington Examiner. "If you're going to come across that border, you should be arrested and get the consequences of it."