Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who received the first presidential pardon of the Trump administration last week, is considering getting back into the “political field,” he told Fox News on Monday.
“When I left office, I said I’m probably going to be done with politics, but I’m back in the political field again—whatever that means, I don’t know,” Arpaio, 85, told Fox News.
Early Monday, the Washington Examiner reported that Arpaio may challenge Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, who has been in a public feud with Trump for weeks.
But Arpaio clarified to Fox News that he's not sure what office he might seek or if he'll even run again, claiming he didn’t specifically mention Flake by name.
“I don’t know what office I would run for if I even decided to run for office—I’m undecided on the issue,” he said.
Flake was unsupportive of President Trump’s Arpaio pardon, tweeting late Friday: “Regarding the Arpaio pardon, I would have preferred that the President honor the judicial process and let it take its course.”
Arpaio, the former Maricopa County, Ariz., sheriff, had been found guilty of criminal contempt for defying a judge’s order to stop traffic patrols that allegedly targeted immigrants.
The White House announced Trump’s pardon late Friday, saying that “after more than 50 years of admirable service to our nation, he is a worthy candidate for a Presidential pardon.”
Trump went on to post his announcement on Twitter.
“I am pleased to inform you that I have just granted a full Pardon to 85 year old American patriot Sheriff Joe Arpaio,” Trump tweeted Friday night. “He kept Arizona safe!”
Arpaio thanked the president, while saying in an earlier tweet that his conviction was the result of a “political witch hunt by holdovers in the Obama justice department.”