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Joe Arpaio told Talking Points Memo on Tuesday:
“I think Washington needs me, the president needs me,”
And by so saying confirms he’ll enter the race.
“I’ve got a lot of experience … [and have] dedicated my life [to] serving our country. We’ll see what happens.”
The 85-year-old nutter, controversial for a sheriff’s stint in Maricopa County that was blasted for his harsh tactics in dealing with immigrants and “unorthodox policing methods,” will be vying in the state’s GOP primary in August for the seat of retiring Sen. Jeff Flake.
Arpaio, who was pardoned by Trump in August for ignoring a judge’s order in a racial-profiling case, said he’s not worried about his age, or about Democrats jumping on his past to pry open more of an opening for the Senate seat in the midterms.
He’ll face off in the GOP primary against ex-state Sen. Kelli Ward, and probably also Rep. Martha McSally, considered a GOP establishment favorite who’s expected to announce her own bid soon.
Arpaio is optimistic about his chances. “I’ve never lost a Republican primary in my political career,” he tells TPM. “I don’t expect to lose this one, either.”
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