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Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio to attend Republican National Convention

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio (right) said Wednesday he plans to attend the Republican National Convention later this month to support presumptive nominee Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

PHOENIX — Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said Wednesday he will attend the Republican National Convention, which is being held in Cleveland, Ohio later this month.

“I am an elected delegate,” Arpaio said. “Over 1,500 Republicans elected me.”

The sheriff said he plans to drum up support for presumed nominee Donald Trump.

“I am going to protect Trump’s back and I will deal with the media, and if I have things to say on the floor, I will not be bashful,” he said.

While Arpaio made it clear he plans to avidly support Trump — something he has done for months — he has not been given the official nod to speak in the New York billionaire’s favor.

“No one has approached me yet on that,” he said. “I’m not trying to push it. If Trump’s campaign wants me to, then OK.”

Arpaio said he expects the convention will go well for Trump despite several concerted efforts by other Republicans to keep him from the nomination.

“He’s the one that fairly won,” he said. “People voted for him, and I expect everybody to come together.”

But Arpaio doesn’t want them to just come together. He wants party members to come out and openly support Trump.

“When you talk about a nominee, don’t just say, ‘We support the nominee of the Republican Party,'” he said. “I want them to say, ‘We support [Trump].'”

KTAR’s Lauren Grifo contributed to this report.

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