Joe Arpaio files for election to try to win back sheriff’s job

Former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was pardoned by President Donald Trump over two years ago, said he has officially filed election papers in a bid to win back his former position as sheriff of Maricopa County.

On Tuesday, Arpaio, who calls himself “America’s toughest Sheriff,” submitted nearly 10,000 petition signatures, more than double needed to qualify for the local primary, according to his campaign. In August, he announced he would seek reelection. Arpaio thanked his supporters in a statement Wednesday, saying, “I will work tirelessly to earn each and every vote from the people of Maricopa County.”

“I’m looking forward to serving another term as Sheriff in order to bring criminals to justice, protect the citizenry, enforce all the laws and Make Maricopa County Safe Again,” he said. “I’m honored to be the longest serving Sheriff in Maricopa County history and look forward to continue to serve the public at this critical time.”

Arpaio lost his reelection bid for sheriff in 2016 and was found guilty of criminal contempt a year later for ignoring a court order in a racial profiling case.

Arpaio, the first person pardoned by Trump in 2017, attempted a Senate run in 2018, but lost to Martha McSally in the Republican primary.

Paul Penzone, the current sheriff of Maricopa County and a Democrat, ousted Arpaio in 2016 and is running for reelection. The primary election is set to be held August 4.