Who is Joe Arpaio running against for Flake's Senate seat?

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio speaks in support of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during a Trump campaign rally

The 85-year-old former Maricopa County sheriff, whom President Donald Trump pardoned last year, said he will pursue a bid for the U.S. Senate seat now held by outgoing Republican Jeff Flake.

The controversial lawman whom Donald Trump pardoned past year following a federal conviction for criminal contempt in a racial profiling case.

Former sheriff Arpaio appeared on Fox & Friends Wednesday, where he talked about his (unconventional) career in law enforcement and how he wants to go to Washington to support President Donald Trump's agenda.

"Oh, I would have a lot of fun", Arpaio replied.

"I don't think you win general elections by picking the most centrist candidate and that will be the contrast here come the August primary", Beach said.

"I think I can make a difference. I'm not here to get my name in the paper, I get that everyday, anyway". Arpaio, who turns 86 this year, is older than any current USA senator and would be the oldest freshman senator ever elected. Unlike other local police leaders who left it to US authorities, Arpaio made hundreds of arrests in traffic patrols that sought out immigrants and business raids in which his officers targeted immigrants who used fraudulent IDs to get jobs.

Arpaio was found guilty last summer of criminal contempt for ignoring a federal court order in a racial-profiling case.

In August, Trump issued the first clemency of his presidency, pardoning the controversial former sheriff.

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In the months to come, Arpaio's close ties to Trump will force Republicans to explain how a man known for his civil rights abuses could come to represent their party in Congress-just as Moore's alleged transgressions albatrossed the neck of the GOP in Alabama.

"I have a far-out plan, which may look stupid", he said, noting there would be no amnesty provisions.

Arpaio admitted to inadvertently disobeying the court order but said his behaviour did not meet a criminal standard. Salvador Reza, an activist with Barrio Defense Committees, told the Daily Beast in 2013 that Hispanic children in the area saw Arpaio as "El Cucuy" - the Bogeyman. Kelli Ward in a primary, she'd have a more hard time in a three-way Republican race.

Reporters, including myself, had dismissed Arpaio's ambitions as PR stunts. The House of Representatives lawmaker is expected to announce her run on Friday, CNN reported.

Starting in 2008, Arpaio designated a special unit to conduct raids at workplaces across Maricopa County, where undocumented immigrants were suspected of seeking employment.

A polarizing figure in Arizona, Arpaio will be trying to win the seat now held but Sen.

Arpaio's entry into the Senate race prompted immediate criticism from Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez, who released a statement saying, "Joe Arpaio is one of our nation's most notorious agents of racism and bigotry".

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