Former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio says he’s “seriously” considering a run for U.S. Senate in 2018, throwing cold water on rumors the outspoken lawman who was pardoned by President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE earlier this year will run for Rep. Trent FranksHarold (Trent) Trent FranksArizona New Members 2019 Cook shifts 8 House races toward Dems Freedom Caucus members see openings in leadership MORE (R-Ariz.)’s seat.
Arpaio told The Daily Beast on Thursday that he is actively looking at the possibility of running for the seat currently held by Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeGOP lawmakers stick to Trump amid new criticism Kelly holds double-digit lead over McSally in Arizona: poll Trump asserts his power over Republicans MORE (R-Ariz.), who is retiring in January.
“I am seriously, seriously, seriously considering running for the U.S. Senate,” Arpaio said, “not the congressman’s seat.”
Arpaio’s comments followed Franks’s announcement Thursday that he would resign his House seat after the House Ethics Committee said it would investigate his comments about surrogacy with female staffers.
“Due to my familiarity and experience with the process of surrogacy, I clearly became insensitive as to how the discussion of such an intensely personal topic might affect others,” Franks said in a statement Wednesday. “I deeply regret that my discussion of this option and process in the workplace caused distress.”
In the interview Thursday, Arpaio called Franks’s resignation a “great loss” for the state of Arizona.
“He is a great man, and a great friend, and it’s a great loss for Arizona and our country,” Arpaio said, before again dismissing the possibility of running for Franks’s seat. Arpaio noted in the interview that he does not reside within Franks’s 8th District.
“No, I would not consider it, but I am considering running for the Senate, Flake’s seat,” Arpaio said. “I feel like I just gave you a little scoop there.”
Trump pardoned Arpaio earlier this year after the former sheriff was convicted of contempt of court for refusing to stop racially profiling Hispanics at traffic stops for the purpose of immigration checks.
“Sheriff Joe Arpaio is now 85 years old, and after more than 50 years of admirable service to our nation, he is a worthy candidate for a presidential pardon,” the White House said at the time.
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