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Joe Arpaio says he’ll turn in 10,000 signatures for US Senate ballot

FILE- In this July 6, 2017, file photo, former Sheriff Joe Arpaio leaves the federal courthouse in Phoenix, Ariz. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco issued an opinion Monday, May 7, 2018, saying that Maricopa County is also responsible for policies carried out by Arpaio, whose department was found to have discriminated against Latinos, when he was in office. (AP Photo/Angie Wang, File)

PHOENIX – Joe Arpaio, the controversial former Phoenix-area sheriff, announced that he has collected more than enough signatures to secure his spot on Arizona’s Republican primary ballot for U.S. Senate.

In a news release, the 85-year-old said he will submit 10,000 signatures to the office of Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan on Tuesday.

According to the Reagan’s website, a Republican candidate needs 6,233 signatures to get on the ballot for statewide offices. Nominating petitions for the Aug. 28 primary must be submitted by May 30.

“I’m deeply honored and humbled by the outpouring of support for this campaign,” Arpaio said in the release. “My heartfelt gratitude goes to all those who signed my petition, nearly double the amount needed, and for all the hard work of our volunteers who made this happen.”

Arpaio, who spent 24 years as Maricopa County sheriff until losing re-election to Democrat Paul Penzone in 2016, aims to fill the seat Republican Jeff Flake is vacating at the end of this year.

Former state Sen. Kelli Ward turned in what she said were 12,000 signatures to get her name on the ballot earlier this month. U.S. Rep. Martha McSally is the other top candidate for the Republican nomination.

All three have positioned themselves as allies of Donald Trump, a stark contrast to Flake, a vocal critic of the president.

Last year, Trump pardoned Arpaio after a federal judge found the former sheriff guilty of contempt of court for intentionally defying a 2011 court order that barred his traffic patrols targeting immigrants.

The Republican primary winner will likely face Democratic U.S. Rep Kyrsten Sinema in the November general election.