Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio announced his intention to run for the Senate seat vacated by Jeff Flake.
Arpaio announced his official intention in an interview with The Washington Examiner’s David Drucker.
“I have a lot to offer,” Arpaio told Drucker. “I’m a big supporter of President Trump. 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 everyday, anyway.”
In December, Arpaio beat Flake’s son in court. The younger Flake had sued the Sheriff in what was described as a publicity stunt intended to clear his name in connection with the deaths of over 20 dogs.
Austin Flake and his former wife, Logan Brown, sued Arpaio for malicious prosecution due to an investigation by Arpaio’s office into the deaths of 21 dogs at a kennel operated by Flake’s in-laws. Flake and Brown were tending to the animals when they were left to die in the kennel from heat exhaustion.
The criminal case against Flake and Brown was dismissed in what many believed was a political favor by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.
Brown’s parents later pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges.
The dogs died when an air conditioner failed because the Brown did not properly maintain it.
In October 2017, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton accepted President Donald Trump’s pardon of Arpaio. Bolton dismissed the guilty verdict against Arpaio at the request of the Department of Justice and Arpaio’s attorneys.
Arpaio was found guilty of contempt by Bolton for allegedly disobeying a 2011 order from Judge Murray Snow.
Contrary to news reports which alleged Arpaio was a racist, Jack Wilenchik, Arpaio’s attorney, noted that Arpaio’s “conviction had nothing to do with race.”
“The court’s verdict,” said Wilenchik after the August trial, “does not even mention race. In fact, prosecutors admitted before trial that the Government was “unaware of facts” that would support “that he [Sheriff Joe] and other MCSO officers detained plaintiffs on the basis of race.”