Former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio announces bid to run for post again in 2020

Joe Arpaio is back, and he wants his old job back.

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The former sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, announced Sunday on social media he would seek a seventh term in 2020, KXNV reported.

In a news release posted Sunday on Twitter, Arpaio, 87, noted that Aug. 25 is his wife's birthday and also the anniversary of the 2017 presidential pardon issued by President Donald Trump. Arpaio was convicted for contempt in federal court in July 2017 after the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office continued to carry out immigration patrols after a judge ordered them halted.

"On this day, August 25, 2019, after consultation and approval from my wife of 61 years, Ava, I have decided to run to be re-elected Sheriff. Watch out world! We are back!" Arpaio wrote in his news release.

Arpaio, who served as Maricopa County Sheriff for 24 years, was defeated in 2016 by Paul Penzone in his re-election bid, KNXV reported.

In his news release Sunday, Arpaio vowed to reopen the Tent City Jail and reinstate the "Sheriff's Posse," according to the Arizona Republic. He promised that if elected again, he would "continue to enforce all Arizona laws that deal with drug trafficking, sex trafficking and other crimes associated with the border and illegal immigration."

"I will continue to stand and fight to do the right thing for Arizona and America, and will never
surrender," Arpaio said in his news release. "Those who break the law will have to deal with this Sheriff."

Penzone, in a statement Sunday night, said he worked "every day" to have a "professional, transparent office."

"The heightened level of professionalism, emphasis on accountability, fiscal responsibility, reduction of lawsuits, and focus on public safety cannot be denied. I look forward to continuing our mission with the overwhelming support from the community who has entrusted me with the honor of serving. I am committed to a safe Maricopa County where politics has no place in law enforcement," Penzone said.

Former Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Jerry Sheridan, who will face Arpaio in the 2020 primary, also issued a statement, KNXV reported.

"While Sheriff Arpaio and I would agree on things like bringing back Tent City and rebuilding a strong Posse, our styles and priorities are different," Sheridan said. "My focus has always been on getting the bad guys and not getting headlines."