Republican Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona, a frequent critic of President Trump, announced in October that he will be retiring, as he lamented the “alarming and dangerous state of affairs” under Trump.

Now a longtime staunch Trump supporter is intending to take his place.

Republican Joe Arpaio, otherwise known as “Sheriff Joe,” announced in an exclusive telephone interview with the Washington Examiner, that he is running for the Senate seat that Flake is vacating.

Arpaio, 85, was the sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona for 24 years, until he was ousted by a Democrat in 2016, thanks in part to heavy political contributions from globalist Democrat billionaire, George Soros.

Arpaio is well known for being tough on illegal immigration, and was convicted by a judge for ignoring a federal court order to stop “racial-profiling” of illegal aliens. President Trump pardoned him of the charges last summer.

Arpaio will have some competition in the primaries from Kelli Ward and Rep. Martha McSally.

The Washington Examiner published their report Tuesday morning:

In a telephone interview with the Washington Examiner, Arpaio shrugged off concerns about his age, dismissed Republican insiders’ anxiety that his poor reputation with nonwhite voters would put the seat in play for the Democrats in the midterm, and discussed plans to work with Trump on behalf of Arizona.

“I have a lot to offer. I’m a big supporter of President Trump,” Arpaio said. “I’m going to have to work hard; you don’t take anything for granted. But I would not being doing this if I thought that I could not win. I’m not here to get my name in the paper, I get that everyday, anyway.”

Arpaio’s sharp rhetoric and law enforcement practices also drew intense criticism. Democrats, some Republicans, and advocates for immigrants — both legal and illegal — accused him of unconstitutional racial profiling and even bigotry. Arpaio said he expects more of the same in his Senate campaign, but vowed not to alter his approach.

“My mother and father came here from Italy, legally of course. I have a soft spot for the Mexican community having lived there,” he said. “I’m not going to get into my personal life, but I will say we have four grandkids and some have a different ethnic and racial background. I don’t say that. I don’t use my grandkids. So, I have a soft spot, but still, I’m going to do my job. You have to do it.”

“Being a U.S. senator is a little different than being the sheriff, because you can do a lot of things in the U.S. Senate, and I have many plans, believe me. It’s tough. It’s a tough decision. But, if you’re going to come across that border, you should be arrested and get the consequences of it,” Arpaio added.

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