Disgraced Ex-Sheriff Joe Arpaio Mulling U.S. Senate Run

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Arpaio lost to a Democrat in his 2016 bid for reelection in Arizona.

Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio wants everyone to know he has no intention of running to replace Rep. Trent Franks’ seat in the House. That's because he has bigger goals:

“I am seriously, seriously, seriously considering running for the U.S. Senate,” Arpaio told The Daily Beast, “not the congressman’s seat.”

The recipient of President Trump's first presidential pardon mistakenly believed his residence in a different district would preclude him from running to replace Franks.

When The Daily Beast pointed out that the U.S. Constitution specifies that members of the House of Representatives merely be residents of their state, not their specific district, Arpaio said that it was not Franks’ seat, but retiring Sen. Jeff Flake’s, that has caught his eye.

Arizona Democrats seem unconcerned about a potential Arpaio run:

“Bring him on. He lost in 2016. We can defeat him in 2018,” Ann Heitland, communications chair of the Coconino County Democratic Party, which encompasses Flagstaff, told The Daily Beast in August.

A refresher on Arpaio's infamous 24-year reign as Maricopa Country Sheriff:

Arpaio is an outsize—and divisive—figure in modern Arizona politics. Serving for nearly a quarter century as the sheriff of the state’s largest county, he styled himself as “America’s Toughest Sheriff.” He was a staunch opponent of illegal immigration who, himself, was accused of numerous crimes. During his tenure, which ended with his defeat to a Democratic rival in 2016, Arpaio was accused of abuse of power, unconstitutional jail conditions at his infamous “Tent City” outdoor jail, and criminal contempt of court for his refusal to stop detaining Latinos based on the belief they were in the U.S. illegally.

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