Joe Arpaio ‘Seriously’ Considering U.S. Senate Run? Don’t Hold Your Breath

color photo of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, dressed in suit and tie, speaking at a convention in Phoenix in 2014
Seriously!? Joe Arpaio has pulled this stunt before (Gage Skidmore via Flickr)
UPDATED: Ex-Maricopa County sheriff and lifelong publicity whore Joe Arpaio has announced that he will indeed run for the U.S. Senate.

UPDATE 1/10/2018: Front Page Confidential has followed up on this story. Read Stephen Lemons’s ongoing coverage of Joe Arpaio’s candidacy for the U.S. Senate by following the link below:

“Pardon Me? Joe Arpaio Declares His U.S. Senate Candidacy”

UPDATE 1/9/2018: Late this morning the conservative Washington Examiner reported that former Maricopa County, Arizona, sheriff Joe Arpaio will indeed run for the U.S. Senate seat soon to be vacated by Jeff Flake.

“Arpaio was vague on his policy agenda beyond immigration enforcement,” writes the Examiner‘s David M. Drucker. “That’s not unusual. Candidates, especially at the beginning of a campaign, tend to try and keep their message focused on a few bullet points and maintain flexibility by not putting down too many markers.

“Arpaio’s main offer to Arizonans: He would support Trump unflinchingly, should he win the nomination and defeat the likely Democratic nominee, Rep. Kyrsten Sinema. That’s not insignificant. Both Flake and McCain have a contentious relationship with the president, and he with them.”

Front Page Confidential will have more on the ongoing Arpaio story later this afternoon.

Original story follows below:

Here’s a prediction: The New York Jets will be headed to the Super Bowl before former Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio runs for the U.S. Senate.

Arpaio just told a Daily Beast reporter that he’s “seriously, seriously, seriously” considering a run next year for the soon-to-be-open U.S. Senate that Jeff Flake currently occupies.

Maybe Arpaio figures that if alleged ephebophile Roy Moore can get himself elected to the senate from Alabama in the upcoming December 12 special election to fill Jeff “Old Possum” Sessions’s seat, then he’d be a shoo-in for Flake’s Arizona slot.

After all, the only untoward lust Arpaio has ever displayed over the years is for power, media attention, and money.

He does have a rap sheet, though: a July conviction for contempt of court.

Fortunately for Joe, President Donald Trump pardoned him before his sentencing, to the outrage of many, including the owners of this site. (As the owners of Phoenix New Times, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin fought Arpaio from the time he set foot in office and were instrumental in driving him from power.) Trump’s pardon aside, the judge in Arpaio’s case subsequently refused to vacate the guilty verdict.

Not only is Arpaio a washed-up Republican blunderbuss carrying more baggage than an ocean liner, but Arizona’s political pundits have lost count of how many times he has threatened to run for higher office.

color photo of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, dressed in suit and tie and appearing to sing alongside an Elvis impersonator at a convention in Phoenix in 2014
Bring in the clowns: Arpaio with an Elvis impersonator in 2014 (Gage Skidmore via Flickr)

There was the time in 2014 when he said he might run for governor. It wasn’t by any stretch the first time he’d floated a gubernatorial balloon.

Likewise, he has suggested more than once that he might be interested in the U.S. Senate. Like in 2011, when he claimed he was considering running for the seat being vacated by Jon Kyl. (That’d be the seat Flake nabbed.)

Earlier this year, Arpaio said he might challenge Flake, who was up for re-election in 2018 until he took himself out of the race because his opposition to Trump was bound to make him persona non grata in a GOP primary.

Predictably, last month, Arpaio used speculation about a possible run for the senate to raise money for his legal defense fund.

That’s right: Arpaio did not appeal for campaign donations; he asked for help paying the lawyer bills  he incurred while unsuccessfully battling the criminal contempt charges against him.

All that aside, would the voters of Arizona be up for “Senator Joe”?

No, and here’s why: In 2016, über-red Maricopa County rejected him in favor of Democrat Paul Penzone by nearly 13 percentage points.

Maricopa County is the most populous county in the state and the center of Arpaio’s base. Outside the county, Arizona turns varying shades of pink and purple, i.e., less friendly to a divisive figure like Joe.

Of course, Democrats would love to see Joe run. Latinos would turn out in droves to vote against a man whose agency was found guilty of racial profiling by a federal court.

So would many Anglo Republicans, ticked by Arpaio’s antics and profligate ways.

Once again, it’s a no-go, Joe.

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About Stephen Lemons

Stephen Lemons is an award-winning investigative journalist with more than 20 years of experience covering everything from government corruption to white-supremacist gangs. In addition to Front Page Confidential, his work has appeared in Phoenix New Times, the Los Angeles Times,, and the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Report magazine.

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