- Associated Press - Monday, July 15, 2019

PHOENIX — Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has no idea who is behind Phoenix billboards urging him to run for office in 2020.

The billboards, displaying the message “Sheriff Joe One More Time 2020,” quietly emerged around the city this month. It’s unclear how many have been put up.

Arpaio told The Arizona Republic that he does not know anything about the billboards. He said campaigning for an office isn’t out of the question, but he did not specify what office he might consider.

“I haven’t filed for anything,” Arpaio said. “But I appreciate the support.”

The self-described “America’s toughest sheriff” has more than once teased the possibility of a run for office only to decide not to. The only exception was his Senate run last year.

“Right now, I’ve just heard it’s (the billboard) has gone up,” he said. “And I have to make that decision whether I’m going to run or not. I want to clear the air as soon as I can.”

Arpaio, 87, was sheriff for 24 years before he lost reelection in 2016.

He was convicted in 2017 of misdemeanor contempt for defying a federal court order to stop immigration patrols but received a pardon from President Donald Trump.

The billboards list they were paid for by the political action committee One More Time. The PAC is not registered in Arizona or Maricopa County.

A federal PAC with the same name was created earlier this month. It lists an address and phone number based in Washington, D.C. The phone was disconnected.

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