PHOENIX — Outgoing Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio might take a much-needed vacation or enjoy retirement. Or he might be willing to work for the federal government under President-elect Donald Trump.
The 84-year-old told KTAR’s Arizona’s Morning News on Thursday that he had no immediate plans other than finish to out his tenure two days after a surprising loss in Arizona’s general election.
But if he got a call from the White House, he’d listen. “I haven’t received any calls, I haven’t placed any calls. I didn’t support (Trump) to get a job,” Arpaio said. “… But I do have another background (in federal law enforcement).”
Arpaio, who was sheriff for 23 years and was seeking a seventh term, spent a long career with the DEA before becoming sheriff and has been a longtime advocate of stronger immigration controls and border protection. Those issues were high on Trump’s campaign list.
He was among the first authority figures in the state to back Trump’s candidacy and tweeted out congratulations to Trump after the elections.
“I’m not looking for another job” he said. “I did run for sheriff, I lost.”
Democratic challenger Paul Penzone unseated Arpaio.
The county’s hard-charging law enforcer is already beginning the moving-out process in his office.
“In my 24 years, almost 5 million people have voted for me,” Arpaio said. “That’s a lot of people.”
The longest-serving sheriff in county history said he knew 16 months ago Trump would win the election.
“I’ve been at many rallies with him, he’s different from all the other presidential candidates that I’ve endorsed in my career. Glad to see he won.”
Arpaio added that he were invited to the presidential inauguration, he more than likely would attend.
“Of course, for him I would go. He’ll be a great president.”
A more permanent move to the nation’s capital “would depend on the job,” he said.
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