Ex-Arizona sheriff, Trump ally Joe Arpaio running for Senate

FILE - In this Jan. 9, 2013, file photo, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio speaks to reporters in Phoenix. For more than five years, Arpaio has fixated on the authenticity of President Barack Obama’s birth certificate, going so far to send a deputy and member of his volunteer posse to Hawaii to question officials about the record. He earned plaudits from Donald Trump and became one of the nation’s leading voices on the debunked controversy. On Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016, Arpaio plans to bring a close to his five-year investigation into Obama’s birth certificate, ending a chapter that critics denounced as a shameless ploy to raise money from his right-wing base. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

PHOENIX (AP) — Former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio has announced he plans to run for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Jeff Flake.

The 85-year-old Arpaio is a Republican and close ally of President Donald Trump.

Arpaio tweeted Tuesday he seeking the post to support Trump’s agenda “in his mission to Make America Great Again.”

Arpaio was spared a possible jail sentence last year when Trump pardoned his conviction for disobeying a judge’s order in an immigration case.

He flirted with the idea running for Arizona governor five times but decided against doing so each time.

Arpaio says in a fundraising email that he filed paperwork Tuesday for the Senate run.

The Republican Flake has been critical of Trump and announced last year that he would not seek another term.

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