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How Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s return could haunt Trump in battleground Arizona

Posted by   /  May 18, 2020  /  No Comments

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FILE PHOTO – In this Jan. 26, 2016, file photo, then Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump joins then Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio campaign event at the Roundhouse Gymnasium in Marshalltown, Iowa. The taxpayer bill for a racial profiling case stemming from former Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s immigration patrols in metropolitan Phoenix is expected to reach nearly $150 million by the summer of 2020. Officials say Maricopa County taxpayers have already paid $111.5 million in attorney and compliance costs since the lawsuit over traffic patrols targeting immigrants was filed in 2007, and the figure is projected to rise by nearly $7.4 million by the end of June.

By David Cantanese | Miami Herald

As Donald Trump carried Arizona on his way to the White House four years ago, voters were simultaneously ushering another nationally renowned Republican with polarizing views on law enforcement and immigration out of office. 

Now Joe Arpaio is back, mounting a campaign for his old job as sheriff of Maricopa County — the nation’s fourth-most populous county that could determine the outcome of the presidential election not just in Arizona, but nationally. 

Republicans are warily eyeing the return of the 87-year-old Arpaio, who was pardoned by the president in 2017 for defying a court order and still calls Trump his “hero.” Democrats, meanwhile, view Arpaio’s crushing 13-point loss in 2016 as a harrowing omen for Trump this fall in a state that is quickly emerging as one of the most competitive 2020 battlegrounds. 

And the possibility of Arpaio reappearing on the Republican ticket with Trump could further alienate the moderate suburban women and voters of color Democrats need to mobilize to win Arizona for the first time since 1996. 

“For younger Latinos, it will make a difference,” said Rep. Ruben Gallego, a Democratic congressman from Phoenix who is Hispanic. “The voters that pushed out Joe Arpaio, those are going to be the ones who do the same thing to Donald Trump in Maricopa County.”While one top Arizona Republican dismissed Arpaio as a mere “hemorrhoid,” several Republicans in the state argued it would be foolish to think that he could hurt Trump from a down-ballot position. 


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  • Published: 1 week ago on May 18, 2020
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  • Last Modified: May 18, 2020 @ 4:27 pm
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