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Joe Arpaio, controversial sheriff pardoned by Trump, enters Arizona Senate race

Joe Arpaio, the Republican former Maricopa County sheriff known for his hard-line immigration tactics, says he's runn...

Posted: Jan 9, 2018 10:17 PM
Updated: Jan 9, 2018 10:17 PM

Joe Arpaio, the Republican former Maricopa County sheriff known for his hard-line immigration tactics, says he's running for Senate.

Rep. Martha McSally, the preference of national Republicans in the race to replace retiring Republican Jeff Flake, is also set to enter the race this week. And conservative Kelli Ward is already in the race -- setting up another showdown between the establishment-backed candidate in McSally and anti-establishment forces after a similar battle cost the GOP a Senate seat in Alabama.

"I have a lot to offer. I'm a big supporter of President Trump," Arpaio told the Washington Examiner in an interview kicking off his campaign. "I'm going to have to work hard; you don't take anything for granted. But I would not being doing this if I thought that I could not win. I'm not here to get my name in the paper, I get that every day, anyway."

Arpaio was defeated in the 2016 election after 24 years in office as sheriff. He was convicted last year of criminal contempt for defying a court order to stop racially profiling Latinos but was pardoned by President Donald Trump, whose presidential campaign Arpaio had supported, in August before serving any jail time.

Arpaio told supporters in a fundraising email that he'd filed the paperwork to run in Arizona's late-August Republican primary.

On Twitter, he said: "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."

Sets up primary fight

GOP Sen. Jeff Flake is retiring, setting up a fight among top Arizona Republicans for the nomination.

National Republicans have landed their top recruit for the seat: Rep. Martha McSally is set to holds events Friday in Tucson, Phoenix and Prescott where she'll make what's being billed as a "special announcement." Two Republicans familiar with McSally's plans say she'll announce she's entering the race.

Arpaio and McSally would join Kelli Ward, the conservative state senator who drew 40% of the vote in the 2016 primary against Sen. John McCain, in the race.

Ward is supported by a super PAC funded by the GOP megadonor Mercer family. She was also backed by Steve Bannon -- though Ward distanced herself from the former White House chief strategist after Bannon's comments in a new book drew condemnation from Trump.

Though the primary is months away, it bears some similarities to the three-way Republican primary ahead of the Alabama special election in December. Arpaio, like Roy Moore, is a controversial figure with a solid base of die-hard suporters. Ward, like Rep. Mo Brooks, is also well-liked by anti-establishment conservatives. And McSally, like Luther Strange, is the establishment preference -- though Republicans argue McSally, a former fighter pilot who has proven her ability to raise money and win close races, is a stronger candidate.

A boost for Democrats

The Democratic candidate in a race that represents one of the party's best pick-up opportunities on the 2018 midterm map is Rep. Kyrsten Sinema.

Arpaio's entry into the race could be a boon for Arizona Democrats who will lean on Latino turnout in hopes of winning the Senate race.

Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by just 4 percentage points in Arizona in 2016, making it a much closer race than traditional swing states like Ohio, Iowa, Colorado and Virginia.

Latino voters made up 15% of the electorate and favored Clinton by a 2-to-1 margin, CNN's exit polls found.

Opposing Arpaio has long energized Arizona Democrats, and his presence in the race -- and pardon by Trump -- will be a fundraising tool for state and national Democrats.

Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy immediately sent supporters a fundraising email seeking contributions to be split between his campaign account and Sinema's.

"Every Democratic voter should give a dollar to Arpaio's primary campaign because nobody energizes Latino voters nationally better than Joe Arpaio," said Rep. Luis Guti-rrez of Illinois, a retiring Democrat who is considering a 2020 presidential run. "He has 100% name recognition in the Latino community and will be enormously helpful to Democrats in Arizona and in every other Senate and House race in 2018 if he makes a serious run for the Senate."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 94021

Reported Deaths: 2846
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7017157
DeSoto544859
Harrison378073
Jackson341869
Madison321886
Rankin320276
Lee263368
Jones243878
Forrest240971
Washington218671
Lafayette211639
Lauderdale2015124
Bolivar179765
Oktibbeha175950
Lamar163934
Neshoba1548104
Panola144927
Sunflower142945
Lowndes141257
Warren138250
Leflore137781
Pontotoc124116
Pike121749
Monroe119966
Scott116825
Copiah116433
Coahoma113627
Holmes109458
Marshall108015
Lincoln107353
Grenada106835
Yazoo104130
Simpson101544
Union98324
Tate95837
Leake94138
Adams92236
Wayne87721
Pearl River86952
Marion84234
Prentiss82617
Covington80822
Itawamba78021
Alcorn77611
Tallahatchie76221
Newton76123
George75513
Winston73119
Tishomingo66537
Chickasaw66224
Tippah65017
Attala64325
Walthall59525
Clay58217
Hancock56921
Clarke56342
Jasper55915
Noxubee54515
Smith52614
Calhoun50712
Tunica48113
Montgomery45821
Claiborne45616
Lawrence42712
Yalobusha41914
Perry41318
Quitman3755
Humphreys37415
Stone36012
Greene35417
Webster33213
Jefferson Davis32911
Amite31410
Carroll31412
Wilkinson30118
Kemper28615
Sharkey26313
Jefferson2439
Benton2232
Franklin1913
Choctaw1806
Issaquena1033
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 132452

Reported Deaths: 2335
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson19230342
Mobile13192291
Montgomery8711175
Madison767475
Tuscaloosa7355114
Lee576560
Shelby576550
Baldwin512449
Marshall388943
Calhoun339040
Etowah338447
Morgan322626
Houston275322
Elmore258647
DeKalb237519
St. Clair225535
Walker225080
Talladega209927
Limestone202119
Cullman186819
Dallas176226
Franklin174828
Russell17302
Autauga171425
Lauderdale166233
Colbert162126
Blount157314
Escambia157325
Jackson152711
Chilton151328
Dale134143
Covington133427
Coffee12898
Pike11729
Chambers114042
Tallapoosa113984
Clarke106317
Marion95228
Butler91138
Barbour8487
Winston71812
Marengo70219
Lowndes65127
Pickens63914
Bibb63510
Randolph62413
Hale61628
Lawrence60320
Bullock59314
Geneva5844
Monroe5798
Cherokee57516
Clay5537
Washington54913
Perry5396
Conecuh53011
Wilcox53011
Crenshaw52532
Henry4805
Macon47920
Fayette4299
Sumter42319
Lamar3552
Choctaw34612
Cleburne3346
Greene30215
Coosa1673
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