By Jon Dougherty
(NationalSentinel) Former long-serving Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, known for his unorthodox methods of incarceration, has announced he will seek the office again being pardoned a federal contempt conviction in 2017 by President Donald Trump.
Arpaio, who was an early and avid supporter of the president, said in a Sunday news release, “After consultation and approval from my wife of 61 years, Ava, I have decided to run to be reelected Sheriff. Watch out world! We are back!”
Known as “America’s toughest Sheriff,” Arpaio said that if reelected, he will reimplement a number of his most controversial incarceration tools such as Tent City, an outdoor jail where inmates were forced to wear pink underwear and clothing and were chained together.
Critics hated Tent City, claiming it was demeaning to prisoners (it was, which was the point) and that they were forced to stay in scorching desert heat eating calorie-controlled meals (all true, which — again — was Arpaio’s point that incarceration was never supposed to be comfortable or accommodating).
“I will continue to stand and fight to do the right thing for Arizona and America, and will never surrender,” he said. “Those who break the law will have to deal with this Sheriff.”
Borrowing from President Trump’s 2016 campaign, Arpaio pledged to “Make Maricopa County Safe Again” if reelected.
Arpaio was pardoned by the president in April 2017 before being sentenced for contempt of court for continuing to arrest people in the country illegally in defiance of an Obama-era ruling.
“Throughout his time as sheriff, Arpaio continued his life’s work of protecting the public from the scourges of crime and illegal immigration,” the White House said in a statement after Arpaio’s pardon. “Sheriff Joe Arpaio is now 85 years old, and after more than 50 years of admirable service to our nation, he is (a) worthy candidate for a Presidential pardon.”
Arpaio attempted a U.S. Senate bid last year but lost out in the GOP primary to Martha McSally. She wound up losing to Democrat Sen. Krysten Sinema, but was later appointed by Gov. Doug Ducey to fill the late Sen. John McCain’s seat after he died from brain cancer.
“The last four years have proven to be a time of lost opportunities to continue the kind of tough policing this county needs,” Arpaio said. “Once back in office, I will use my position to restore pride to our law enforcement ranks, not only here, in the fourth-largest county in America, but across the country.”
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