After Senate Democrats dodged a bullet in Alabama with Doug Jones’ upset victory over Roy Moore for U.S. Senate, it looks like they’ll have another far-right, Trumpian candidate to defeat: former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Arpaio, who previously labelled himself “America’s Toughest Sheriff,” avoided a possible jail sentence last year after Trump pardoned him, overturning his conviction for disobeying a judge’s order in an immigration case.
The 85-year-old Arpaio is running for Arizona Republican senator Jeff Flake’s seat after Flake announced that he would not seek another term, citing Trump’s “reckless, outrageous and undignified” behavior.
Arpaio considered running for Arizona governor five times, but decided against it each time. Arpaio said in a fundraising email that he filed paperwork on Tuesday for his upcoming Senate run.
While Arpaio’s senate bid is a slam-dunk opportunity for Democrats to villainize Republicans in the same way they did with Judge Roy Moore and as the attack ads begin to write themselves, the mere possibility of Arpaio serving in the U.S. Senate should have all Americans worried, due to his open contempt for the rule of law.
It’s unclear whether Trump will embrace Arpaio as a Senate candidate, especially this early, though considering Arpaio’s appearances on the Trump campaign trail, Arpaio’s stump speech at the RNC and Trump’s pardoning of Arpaio, it would be no surprise if Trump welcomed his candidacy with open arms.