Arpaio rips Flake for not having ‘guts to get re-elected’
PHOENIX — U.S. Senate candidate Joe Arpaio fired back at outgoing lawmaker Jeff Flake on Wednesday, a day after the Arizona lawmaker said the former sheriff’s campaign would be short-lived.
“I know he doesn’t like me. Who cares? … He didn’t have the guts to face the people, to get re-elected. At least I got the guts to face all the detractors, Democratic Party, you name it,” Arpaio said Wednesday morning on the news show “Fox & Friends.”
Shortly after the former longtime Maricopa County sheriff had announced he was running to fill the seat Flake would be vacating early next year, the officeholder suggested to Capitol Hill media, “Write about (Arpaio’s candidacy) fast because it won’t last long.”
He also said he couldn’t see himself supporting Arpaio.
“He can have his opinion, I got mine. But it doesn’t bother me at all,” Arpaio said.
The 55-year-old Flake gave notice in late October that he was retiring when his term ended in 2019.
Flake, a vocal critic of President Donald Trump, had faced increasing pressure within his own party for re-election. The White House began scouting for other possible opponents as far back as July.
Challenger Kelli Ward, a former state senator from Lake Havasu City, had already thrown her hat in the ring.
A new poll of likely Arizona voters showed that Ward fell by 25 percent after Arpaio’s announcement.
He and U.S. Rep Martha McSally, who has yet to officially declare she was running, were in a virtual tie for votes in the poll.
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