Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio wants to take the “former” off that moniker.
The man who became a national figure as the self-styled “America’s toughest sheriff” announced Sunday that he will be running as a Republican for the post of Maricopa County sheriff in Arizona in the 2020 election.
“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,” Sheriff Arpaio said in a statement. “Watch out world! We are back!”
The statement said he will run to “Make Maricopa County Safe Again,” riffing off the slogan of the president who pardoned him of what Mr. Arpaio called “a scurrilous misdemeanor contempt charge filed by President Obama’s administration.”
According to the statement, Mr. Arpaio “will re-open Tent City Jail and bring back his popular jail policies, reinstitute the Posse to its former strength and continue to enforce all Arizona laws that deal with drug trafficking, sex trafficking and other crimes associated with the border and illegal immigration.”
It was these policies that led to racial-profiling lawsuits and eventually his conviction for refusing to obey court orders.
The Arpaio statement noted that Aug. 25 is also both his wife’s birthday and the anniversary of President Trump’s pardon.
The man who now oversees law enforcement for the Phoenix area is Sheriff Paul Penzone, a Democrat who beat Mr. Arpaio in the 2016 election.