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Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio may seek the office he lost after being charged with contempt, the conservative firebrand tells ABC News.
Arpaio, who became a national figure for his tough-on-crime approach and leadership on the immigration issue, was convicted on contempt charges in 2016, brought after he refused court orders to, among other things, stop systemic racial profiling of Latinos. By this time Arpaio’s deputies had arrested thousands of illegal aliens. He was pardoned by President Donald Trump in 2017.
“I’m very strongly thinking about it, very strongly considering it,” Arpaio told ABC News. “I’ll decide next month, and I always have a flair for these sorts of things.”
Arpaio, 87, met with Trump a few months ago, ABC News reports. He says he’ll run if Trump endorses his bid.
“I’m not a politician who worries about talking about things because they may lose a few votes. I brought it up in my last election and I’m not going to stop. Why would I stop?” Arpaio said of his belief former President Barack Obama was born in Kenya and was not constitutionally eligible to be president. Arpaio launched his own investigation of those claims.
Arpaio was Maricopa County Sheriff from 1993 to 2016, when he lost to Democrat Paul Penzone after Arpaio was charged with contempt just two weeks before the election for violating a court order to stop practices the Justice Department and District Judge G. Murray considered racial profiling.
Arpaio ran for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in 2018 but finished third in a three-candidate field, taking just 17.7% against former state senator Kelli Ward and U.S. Rep. Martha McSally.