The president has long had a contentious relationship with members of Congress, including Republicans, so many on his side are no doubt anxious to get more Trump allies in the Senate. Leading Republicans such as Arizona’s John McCain have proven, although they often vote in line with the president’s interests, to be a thorn in the president’s side.
Now, come the August primary election to replace outgoing Arizona U.S. Senator Jeff Flake, Trump allies might have their chance.
Flake is one of the handful of leading Republicans who have long made their opposition to the president known, and he continued that in his speech last year announcing that he did not intend to seek re-election.
That speech raised the stakes of the GOP’s efforts to replace him, and now, former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is throwing his hat in the ring.
That’s right — one of Trump’s power crazy former sheriff buddies is going to make a run for Senate.
He revealed as much while speaking to a reporter with the Washington Examiner, casting himself as poised for success because of the alignment of his and Trump’s agendas.
As he put it:
‘I have a lot to offer. I’m a big supporter of President Trump. 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.’
Arpaio has a misdemeanor conviction in his recent past, having been convicted of contempt of court last year for refusing to obey a judge’s orders to stop a racially discriminatory practice of checking random Latinos’ immigration statuses.
The president, controversially, pardoned Arpaio, with the former sheriff’s immigration views very close to his own.
Trump, of course, is the one who has long proposed putting up a wall along the entire border between the U.S. and Mexico, although it’s not as though such is going to stop the number of illegal border crossings that do persist.
Trump, in pardoning Arpaio, showed yet again his own contempt for the functioning of law and order in the United States, a contempt that was perhaps most blatant when he abruptly fired then-FBI Director James Comey in May of last year.
That firing sparked both obstruction of justice allegations against the president and the appointment of Special Counsel for the Russia investigation Robert Mueller, who has so far brought charges against four of the president’s former associates, including most recently Michael Flynn.
Republicans have to keep Democrats from picking up two seats in addition to the ones they already have come November in order to stay the majority party in the upper house of Congress, with Democrats currently enjoying a sizable lead in generic Congressional ballot polling.
Featured Image via Mark Wilson/ Getty Images