Phoenix – Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio announced on Sunday his intention to seek another term as Sheriff in in the 2020 election cycle. The announcement by Arpaio, known as “America’s Toughest Sheriff,” was met with cheers and groans.
Arpaio tweeted out his announcement:
Joe Arpaio announces 2020 bid for 7th term as Sheriff.
Thousands want me to run for Sheriff. Today Aug 25 announcing run for Sheriff Important day for me. Wife's Birthday & Pres Trump Pardoned me. Ready for bruising, bitter campaign. Never back down.https://t.co/4dkuVCtCUa
— Sheriff Joe Arpaio (@RealSheriffJoe) August 25, 2019
“On this day, August 25, 2019, after consultation and approval from my wife of 61 years, Ava, I have decided to run to be re-elected Sheriff,” said Arpaio in a press release. “Watch out world! We are back!”
Arpaio noted that the date of this announcement is important to him as he is celebrating Ava’s birthday on August 25th and it also happens to be the date that President Trump pardoned him on misdemeanor contempt charge filed by President Obama’s administration.
Arpaio, who was last seen in a bizarre episode of Sacha Baron Cohen’ s “Who Is America,” served as Maricopa County Sheriff from January 1, 1993 until December 31, 2016.
Arpaio’s decision sets up a primary with his former Chief Deputy Jerry Sheridan. Arpaio had previously introduced Sheridan at a GOP meeting as a great candidate and urged those present to support Sheridan for Sheriff, which will make this an awkward primary for both men.
For his part Sheridan released a statement that read in part “…while Sheriff Arpaio and I would agree on things like bringing back Tent City and rebuilding a strong Posse, our styles and priorities are quite different. My focus has always been on getting the bad guys, not getting headlines. We need a professional and proven lawman to win this office back and the voters have already made it clear that they will not vote for Joe. So I will remain in this race and offer voters a 38-year veteran of the Sheriff’s department as a candidate who can win in 2020.”
Arpaio lost the 2016 election to Democrat Paul Penzone by nearly 200,000 votes, an astounding margin given what was then a 170,000 Republican voter registration advantage.
Also running on the Republican side is Glendale police officer Mike Crawford.