Joe Arpaio announces bid to once again become Maricopa County sheriff

Aug 25, 2019, 4:40 PM | Updated: 6:12 pm

(AP Photo)...

(AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX — Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is making another run at the position he held for more than 20 years.

Arpaio, 87, announced Sunday in a press release that he is running to be the county’s sheriff in 2020.

The Republican lost to Democrat and former Phoenix Police Sgt. Paul Penzone in 2016, ending his 24-year run in Maricopa County.

“I will continue to stand and fight to do the right thing for Arizona and America and will never surrender,” Arpaio said in the release.

In the release, Arpaio promised to reopen the controversial Tent City and crack down on border and illegal immigration issues if he were to once again become sheriff.

Penzone in October 2017 closed Tent City, the outdoor jail for low-level offenders that gained national attention for its living conditions and unique inmate wardrobe choices.

Earlier that year, Arpaio was found guilty of misdemeanor contempt when he continued his immigration sweeps for 17 months after a judge ordered him to stop.

He could have faced up to six months in jail, but was pardoned by President Donald Trump in August 2017.

It was the first pardon of Trump’s presidency.

Arpaio said he made the decision to run again partly because of encouragement from “thousands of people across across the nation.”

He said he expects a “bruising and bitter campaign” against Penzone. If Arpaio wins, it will be his seventh term as sheriff.

Arpaio said in the release he picked Aug. 25 to announce his bid because it was his wife Ava’s birthday, and because it was the day he was pardoned by Trump.

“The last four years have proven to be a time of lost opportunities to continue the kind of tough policing this country needs,” Arpaio said in the release. “Once back in office, I will use my position to restore pride to our law enforcement ranks, not only here, in the fourth-largest county in America, but across the country.”

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Joe Arpaio announces bid to once again become Maricopa County sheriff