Convicted criminal and disgraced former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio announced on social media Sunday that he will seek another term as the county’s Sheriff in 2020.
Arpaio previously served as Sheriff from 1993-2017, before losing to Democrat Paul Penzone by 13 points in the 2016 election.
Arpaio made the announcement on his wife’s birthday and the two year anniversary of the presidential pardon he received from President Trump.
“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,” said Sheriff Arpaio in a statement.
After losing in 2016, Arpaio, who was once called “America’s Toughest Sheriff,” was convicted of criminal contempt of court for defying a federal judge’s order to stop racially profiling and unlawfully detaining Latino residents of Maricopa County.
Throughout his tenure, he was also accused of countless acts of police misconduct, including abuse of power, failure to investigate sex crimes, abuse of suspects in custody, and misuse of funds.
The U.S. Department of Justice even determined that Arpaio oversaw the worst pattern of racial profiling in U.S. history, and Arpaio and the MCSO were named as defendants in dozens of civil cases, alleging wrongful arrest, wrongful death, and other claims.
In totality, those lawsuits cost Maricopa County taxpayers more than $140 million during Arpaio’s time as Sheriff.
Despite this history, Arpaio appears to be confident that he can win. He promised to reopen the Tent City jail, reinstate his sheriff’s posse and declared that “Those who break the law will have to deal with this Sheriff.”
In response to Arpaio’s announcement, Alessandra Soler, ACLU of Arizona executive director, released a statement, criticizing Arpaio’s decision to run.
“When Joe Arpaio talks about “those who break the law,” he should be referring to himself. Following our lawsuit against him and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, a federal court found that Arpaio’s office profiled and illegally detained Latinos and violated their constitutional rights,” Soler said. “President Trump might’ve pardoned him, but those who had families and communities destroyed by his unlawful tactics have not. Joe Arpaio is a racist – and he should never hold public office again.”
Arpaio’s decision to run in 2020 comes after he ran for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate in 2018, where he came in third in the primary, behind Martha McSally and Kelli Ward.