Tough-talking Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio told Newsmax on Wednesday that he is considering a run for Arizona governor now that Jan Brewer has said that she would not seek a third term as the state’s top Republican after five years in office.
“If I’m ever going to do it, I should do it now,” Arpaio, 81, said in an exclusive interview. “I don’t want to wait until I’m 86 years old.
“If I’m going to do it, the only problem is that I have to resign as sheriff,” he added. “I have a lot of things going on, a lot of sensitive things going on.”
Arpaio declined to be more specific — only saying: “If I leave, it’s all going to be in vain. So I have to weigh that.”
The self-proclaimed “toughest sheriff in America,” Arpaio has held the job since 1993 and is known nationally for his strict treatment of jail inmates and for cracking down on illegal immigration.
He told Newsmax that he raised $3.5 million last year for a possible gubernatorial campaign and that he planned to release a position paper next week “that would show what I would do if I were the governor.