Joe Arpaio

Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, 85, is running for U.S. Senate in Arizona as a Republican. The close ally of President Donald Trump is running for the seat left open by retiring Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ). Arpaio was pardoned by President Trump last year after he was convicted of ignoring a court order regarding a racial profiling case.

Arpaio faces primary challengers Kelli Ward and Rep. Marth McSally, who is considered as the most likely to win the nomination by many analysts.

Sheriff Joe, as he is affectionately called by supporters, recently sat down with the Washington Examiner to discuss his candidacy:

“I have a lot to offer. I’m a big supporter of President Trump,” Arpaio said. “I’m going to have to work hard; you don’t take anything for granted. But I would not being doing this if I thought that I could not win. I’m not here to get my name in the paper, I get that everyday, anyway.”

“My mother and father came here from Italy, legally of course. I have a soft spot for the Mexican community having lived there,” he said. “I’m not going to get into my personal life, but I will say we have four grandkids and some have a different ethnic and racial background. I don’t say that. I don’t use my grandkids. So, I have a soft spot, but still, I’m going to do my job. You have to do it.”

“Being a U.S. senator is a little different than being the sheriff, because you can do a lot of things in the U.S. Senate, and I have many plans, believe me. It’s tough. It’s a tough decision. But, if you’re going to come across that border, you should be arrested and get the consequences of it,” Arpaio added.

President Trump won Arizona by 4%. Arpaio says he has not discussed his bid with the president.

Surprisingly, Arpaio actually favors some form of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). But he wants radical changes first:

“I have a far-out plan, which may look stupid,” he said. “When they come to your attention that they’re here illegally, these young people, deport them back to Mexico — or whatever — and then try to put them on a fast track to come back into the United States legally with special permits. What’s wrong with that? They’d say they don’t know where their home country is, so let them go there and spend six months, because it might take that long to do paperwork to get them here legally and let them see their home country and see what it’s really like. They ought to be proud where they came from. I’m proud being an Italian American. I’m proud of Italy. I’m proud my father, mother came over, proud of it. So, you could kill two birds with one stone.”

“That would be no amnesty, everybody would be happy, you deport them and then let them come back with all their education here. I’m sure they could find a temporary job or help the foreign countries and build up relations and come back. That’s just a big picture that I have. People may say I’m crazy. What am I crazy about? It just makes sense.”

It is without a doubt that he will shake up the race.