April 30th, 2010
08:19 PM ET
13 years ago

Controversial Arizona sheriff considers run for governor's seat

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/30/art.sherrif.gi.jpg caption="Joe Arpaio says he will consider a run for the governor's seat over the weekend. "]Phoenix, Arizona (CNN) - Joe Arpaio, the tough-talking and controversial Arizona sheriff from Maricopa County, says he will consider a run for the governor's seat over the weekend.

Responding to reports that he had already made a decision, Arpaio firmly told reporters Friday that, "I am not running for governor now until I decide over the weekend with a glass of wine and my wife, since my mother and father came here from Italy, with a little spaghetti and meatballs."

His remarks followed a major raid in which 73 undocumented immigrants were taken into custody.

The sheriff - whose showy brand of justice has raised charges of discrimination and civil-rights abuses while making him a hero among fans of his tough-on-crime attitude - is a staunch supporter of Arizona's new immigration law, which will allow police to demand proof of legal residency when it goes into effect in 90 days.

Arizona lawmakers say the law is needed because the federal government has failed to enforce border security with Mexico, allowing more than 450,000 illegal immigrants to move into the state. Critics say the law is unconstitutional and will lead to racial profiling, which is illegal.

Arpaio, whose county includes Phoenix, has cultivated his image as "America's Toughest Sheriff," a nickname earned by his treatment of Maricopa County inmates. Many of his prisoners are housed in tents and forced to wear pink underwear, and he once boasted of feeding them on less than a dollar a day.

He has faced off with the Justice Department and the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona over concerns about the immigrations raids conducted by his department. An ACLU class-action lawsuit alleges that Arpaio has abused the power delegated to him under his agreement with Homeland Security, known as the 287(g) program, which allowed his department to enforce federal immigration laws.

Arpaio also briefly starred in the FOX reality show, "Smile: You're Under Arrest." The show featured Arpaio and other officers using elaborate ploys crafted by comedy writers and carried out by professional actors to arrest suspects with outstanding warrants.

Filed under: Arizona • Popular Posts
soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. Fitz in Texas

    Go luck Sheriff Joe!!!!...I sure would vote for you if I could, but since I can't, I'll be sure to donate to your campaign! Best of luck to you Sir!

    April 30, 2010 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  2. Arizona sheriff Arpaio

    I live in Arizona...I'm half Black half Native American. I live in Maricopa county and have all of my life. Sheriff Arpaio is my sheriff and fortunately, I've never met him.

    As long as he believes in law and order...I don't have a problem with him earning /winning a political seat!

    I'm gonna sit back and check him out

    April 30, 2010 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  3. Arizona sheriff Arpaio

    Go for it!

    April 30, 2010 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  4. Willy Brown

    You go Joe!

    April 30, 2010 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  5. Oran

    He should run for president. Arpaio 2012

    April 30, 2010 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  6. Don of Iowa

    This is one of the most despicable pieces of crap in the US and should be put in prison and treated as he has treated his inmates and fed on less than a dollar a day along witht he Govenor of Arizona. Arizona is taking on the reputation of being the most uncivilized and bigoted state in the US no wonder they consider this bum a hero!

    April 30, 2010 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  7. Arizona girl

    If Sheriff Joe runs for Governor, it's a guarantee, he will win

    April 30, 2010 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  8. Roger Todd

    i hope he does run for governor, just so that i can see this fat-assed pig get his ass kicked. hopefully by a person of original american descent, maybe even a Mexican!

    April 30, 2010 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  9. bob

    go JOE! you got my vote. welcome to the new ARIZONA illegals.

    April 30, 2010 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  10. Bob

    Awesome yeah lets elect Hitler to governor. That would be so awesome for Arizona. Man people in Arizona are dumber than fence posts I tell you!!!

    April 30, 2010 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  11. AZ Born

    Yea, like we didn't see that coming. This man is and has always been only after his own glory. Poor guy, guess his papa didn't pay enough attention to him.

    April 30, 2010 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  12. Kate Johnson

    I was born and raised in Arizona, and if there's one thing that I find the most embarrassing about this state is the fact that they continue to reelect this incredibly corrupt despot, who openly advocates, "Guilty until proven innocent".

    This guy is a fascist that wipes his butt with the constitution. I know several people that will actually move out of Arizona if the worthless amoral tyrant was elected Governor.

    April 30, 2010 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  13. em

    Well... Arizona's turning into a police state.

    April 30, 2010 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  14. arale norimaki

    the real hypocrisy is that Mexican immigration laws are far more strict than ours and they enforce their laws.

    illegal immigrant "earnings have added up to nearly $17 billion in the past year. Remittances, as they're called, are expected to become Mexico's primary source of income this year, surpassing the amount of money that Mexico makes on oil exports for the first time ever."

    April 30, 2010 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  15. dawn

    Run, Joe, Run!!

    You would get my vote.

    April 30, 2010 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  16. Uncle Sam

    Sounds like a good candidate... Some one who wants to enforce laws passed by the federal government that are president and his cabinet refuse to enforce.

    All the AZ law does is make federal laws, state law so the state can enforce them...

    Profiling... I hate being carded for alcohol because I don't look clearly 21 years of age, but I always have my "document" to prove I am of age.

    April 30, 2010 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  17. Frank

    Way to go JOE!!!

    April 30, 2010 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  18. therealone

    That is what this is all about.

    April 30, 2010 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  19. Rob

    Oh this is what we need. HIm in office. What is he going to make every body in his cabinet wear Pink .......

    April 30, 2010 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  20. DenverSkip

    If there are in fact 450K undocumented aliens, at 73/raid, even if he did it every day, and found them all in Maricopa County, as he apparently believes they are, it would only take him 17 years. Maybe if he arrested their bosses, charged them with harboring a criminal, ARS 13-2510 (it could be a felony, Min. 9 months up to 2 1/2 Yrs), the courts hit them with a big fine, then maybe some of us would take him more seriously.

    April 30, 2010 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  21. Gus

    Joe Arpaio you are a man with balls because every American always wanted to do something about these immigrants but if they do or say anything they would be call races. You my friend don't care and you are doing your job so I solute you sir and don't let the bad guys win.

    April 30, 2010 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    He is an idiot. Just like Gov Brewer and Sen Pearce! 3 dopes in one state! How amazing!

    April 30, 2010 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  23. Jason

    Not before we see his original long form birth certificate and passport. We need to verify that this Arpaio character is in the country legally.

    April 30, 2010 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  24. Kevin

    Does he have proof that his parents came here first from Italy? I suspect he may have entered Arizona illegally when he was younger. His last name does end in a vowel. Is that enough probably cause for the bigots in Arizona to investigate him?

    April 30, 2010 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  25. Tamara

    Arizona is fast alienating itself from the rest of the country. Arpaio is a modern day Hitler. Good riddance to a racist state.

    April 30, 2010 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
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