Photo: Sheriff Joe
Maricopa Sheriff Joe Arpaio said Monday he is open to the possibility of running for the seat of retiring Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) in 2012.
Arpaio, who has called himself “America’s toughest sheriff,” has been the subject of major media criticism for his treatment of prisoners. A no-nonsense sheriff, Arpaio reportedly has fed inmates spoiled food, made them wear pink underwear, housed them in surplus Army tents behind barbed wire in the desert, and made them work on chain gangs. Arpaio is also a strong anti-illegal immigration advocate.
The poll, conducted by Arpaio’s campaign manager, listed a set of possible contenders for Kyl’s job. It broke down the results as follows: 21% for Arpaio, 17% for Rep. Jeff Flake, 16.6% for J.D. Hayworth, the radio personality who ran unsuccessfully against John McCain in 2010, 12% for Rep. John Sadeggt and 6% for Rep. Ben Quayle. Hayworth is a former U.S. Congressman. The rest are currently serving.
No state political figures, like Gov. Jan Brewer, were included in the poll and none of the “candidates” has announced that they will be running for Kyl’s seat. No details were released about the manner in which the poll was conducted, who was polled or where.
Arpaio has a spectacular record of detaining legal Hispanics, and taking up to 24 hours to release people with wallets full of identification and no trace of an accent.
He also built his very own mini-Guantanamo to house those detainees – outdoor-tented cages in Arizona’s brutal summer temperatures. Arpaio’s jurisdiction is nowhere near the Mexican border and those sheriffs who do have jurisdiction along the border have condemned his actions.