Joe Arpaio, the tough-talking former sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, is now hoping to become mayor of Fountain Hills, Arizona.
Arpaio was called “America’s toughest sheriff” during his tenure from 1993 until his electoral defeat in 2016.
“The media gave me that name,” Arpaio told The Epoch Times. “Then, I wrote a book (‘Sheriff Joe Arpaio: An American Legend’). I don’t mind the nickname. But if they call me ‘America’s Meanest Sheriff,’ I wouldn’t like that. If they call me ‘America’s Nicest Sheriff,’ I wouldn’t like that either.”
As of Monday, he was one of only two candidates to file papers of interest to run in the August 2022 race for mayor in Fountain Hills, which has a population of 25,000. The other candidate is Kelly Smith, according to the Times.
All candidates must get 324 signatures on a petition to ultimately run in the non-partisan race for mayor.
Donald Trump, as president, had pardoned Arpaio in 2017, allowing the former sheriff to escape punishment for a conviction of criminal contempt of court for disobeying a federal judge.
AzCentral noted Arpaio would be 90 by the time the election is held.
“You never take anything for granted in politics,” the Times quoted Arpaio. “But let me tell you this — I’m well known around this universe.”
The Times noted he stands by his hardline stance on illegal immigration. President Joe Biden’s handling of the border crisis is vindication in itself, he said.
Arpaio is planning a book signing at the border in Nogales, Arizona, so people can “learn the truth about immigration.”
“I don’t have a badge and gun anymore. I’ve got this,” Arpaio says of his book.
The news outlet said he has few nice words to say about Biden and former President Barack Obama. However, he won’t badmouth them or any political opponent. Arpaio meanwhile said that he’s “probably the best politician in history.”
“You know why? Everybody says I’m not a politician,” Arpaio said.