Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has no interest in running for Rep. Trent Franks’ (R-AZ) soon-to-be vacated seat, he said on Thursday. Instead, the controversial lawman, who was recently pardoned by President Donald Trump, has his sights on a higher office.
“I am seriously, seriously, seriously considering running for the U.S. Senate,” Arpaio told The Daily Beast, “not the congressman’s seat.”
Whatever he decides, Arpaio’s next political step will have profound implications in the Grand Canyon State. He is a darling of anti-immigration hardliners, but reviled by Democrats and even some mainstream Republicans for his reputation of breaking the law to enforce it.
On Thursday, a spot opened him to run for the House of Representatives. Franks, who represents Arizona’s 8th congressional district, announced his intent to resign from his seat following reports that he had approached two female staffers about the possibility of serving as gestational surrogates for him and his wife. The House Ethics Committee has opened an investigation into whether Franks “engaged in conduct that constitutes sexual harassment and/or retaliation for opposing sexual harassment.”
Reached by The Daily Beast while grocery shopping, Arpaio said he had not yet heard of Franks’ impending resignation.
“He is a great man, and a great friend, and it’s a great loss for Arizona and our country,” said Arpaio, after being informed of the news. But Arpaio, a former six-term county sheriff, dismissed the possibility of running to replace Franks, noting that he did not reside in the Arizona 8th congressional district.
When The Daily Beast pointed out that the U.S. Constitution specifies that members of the House of Representatives merely be residents of their state, not their specific district, Arpaio said that it was not Franks’ seat, but retiring Sen. Jeff Flake’s, that has caught his eye.
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: The Daily Beast, Scott Bixby