Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio announces he will run for Senate
Jan. 9, 2018
The Arizona Senate race gains a new competitor after former Sheriff Joe Arpaio announced on Tuesday via Twitter that he’s running.
The announcement has come under fire from both parties who are wary if the 85-year-old pardoned felon is serious. In an interview with CNN Senator Jeff Flake, who currently holds the seat, says Arpaio is “not our best foot forward as Republicans.”
Whether he is serious or not, the “big loser” in this is race is Republican Kelli Ward who is also running for Senate, says Arizona Republic columnist Lauri Roberts. Roberts says that Arpaio is most likely “bored to tears” and his distaste for being told no has driven him to run.
Jaime Molera of Molera Alvarez, doesn’t believe the ex-sheriff can win, but he won’t be an easy opponent to beat. He is knowledgeable in fundraising and has credible campaign consultants, says Molera. Even if Arpaio doesn’t win, Molera says, he will “pull a big chuck of votes away from Kelli Ward.”
Who wins the seat may come down to President Donald Trump, Roberts says. His endorsement “is going to essentially decide” the outcome of the race, she says.
It wasn’t that long ago that Arpaio was looking at jail time for criminal contempt before Trump pardoned him. As to whether his criminal record may be a mark against him in his campaign, Roberts doesn’t think so. She says “many republicans see him as a hero.”
Molera says the Republican Party will be depleted as a result of choosing between Arpaio and Ward. The winner of this may be one of the two Democrats running for the seat which includes Congresswomen Kyrsten Sinema.
Congresswoman Martha McSally is also expected to announce a run for Flake’s seat. Both Molera and Roberts think and Arpaio run will actually help the more moderate republican McSally.