By Katie Campbell | Arizona Capitol Times
oe Arpaio is flirting with another campaign that will never happen, according to some political insiders, but he could still serve as an effective surrogate for rising conservative figures. On August 28, the Washington Examiner launched a torrent of speculation on the former Maricopa County sheriff’s political future after proclaiming he might challenge Sen. Jeff Flake in the Republican primary for his seat.
The locals didn’t buy it though, as Arpaio has teased that he would run for governor on several occasions over the years, none of which ever materialized in a real campaign.
Arpaio said he hasn’t ruled out anything, which he reiterated during an interview with the Arizona Capitol Times.
“What’s definite is I’m sure going to help people, help them raise money, help the president, make sure he gets some support. That’s a given,” he said. “I’m going to get back on the campaign trail as far as helping other people.”
As for another run of his own, Arpaio’s longtime friend and former publicist Jason Rose said that’s “a flirtation that will not result in a date.”
“He might surprise us all, but he loves being the sheriff,” Rose said.
He loves it so much, he added, that “there has been serious discussion about running for sheriff again.”
Arpaio, in response to Rose’s comments, said: “Who? What’s he know? I don’t talk to him. Jason Rose? I haven’t talked to him in months. Disregard what he’s saying.”
He said he has not told anyone he would challenge current Sheriff Paul Penzone to regain his seat. Then again, he would not say whether he’d ruled that race out either.
For what it’s worth, Rose would advise against it after he “lost in his home base by a considerable margin” to Penzone.
“There was always a presumption that the sheriff was a formidable political force and could potentially wage an interesting race for governor or whatever he wanted to do,” he said. “In this case, the question is does the emperor have any clothes.”