Remember last year when everyone was mad at Jeff Flake? Those were such innocent times.
Now that Arizona's sitting senator has decided to quit so that he can write more books about how Trump sucks or something, our notoriously racist former sheriff has decided to run for his seat.
And that makes life extremely awkward for Kelli Ward, a fervent Trump supporter who has less name recognition than Joe Arpaio, but similar anti-immigrant views.
Even still, Zachery Henry, who's Ward's campaign spokesperson, had only good things to say about Arpaio.
"We think of Sheriff Joe as a patriot," he said. "He's been a leader throughout his entire life, really on immigration, and that's a critical compenent to the race down here in Arizona."
Henry said that the campaign believes Trump will get involved in the Arizona primary, but might not endorse either Arpaio or Ward. In any case, he's not concerned about the possibility that the president's endorsement could split the vote.
"We're confident with Kelli that she's built up a broad base of support," Henry said. "She has the backing throughout the state of conservatives. All I can say is it's going to be tough for moderates to jump into the race now."
In fact, one such moderate Republican — Tucson Congresswoman Martha McSally — is expected to launch her own Senate run Friday. Several "special announcements" are planned for Tucson, Phoenix, and Prescott.
But even if McSally, a former combat pilot, flies from city to city in her old A-10 jet, her entry to the race will likely be overshadowed by Arpaio's campaign from hell.
Arpaio's decision to enter the race is good for exactly one person: Kyrsten Sinema, the current Democratic frontrunner.
Arizonans deserve leaders who work together to solve our country’s greatest challenges. Joe Arpaio is not that person. Together, we will defeat Sheriff Joe’s dangerous actions and tired rhetoric.— Kyrsten Sinema (@kyrstensinema) January 9, 2018
Immediately after Arpaio's announcement, the Arizona Democratic Party saw an increase in donations and interest in volunteering.
Sinema's team couldn't immediately be reached for comment on whether they'd experienced an Arpaio bump.
But on Wednesday, there were quite a few people from around the country announcing on Twitter that they'd just donated to Sinema's campaign in hopes that she'd be able to beat the disgraced former sheriff.
Two Democrat senators, California's Kamala Harris and Connecticut's Chris Murphy, encouraged their supporters to do the same.
Meanwhile, former revenge porn operator Craig Brittain — possibly the only candidate more thirsty for attention than Arpaio himself — announced the kickoff event for his own Senate campaign. He claims it will feature Roger Stone, Ann Coulter, Snoop Dogg, Run The Jewels, Tucker Carlson, and Milo Yiannopolous as "special guests."
This seems unlikely, especially since the Phoenix Convention Center's calendar shows zero events booked for that day. We've reached out to Snoop Dogg HQ and will provide an update if we're able to confirm whether he or any of the other guests are actually planning on attending.
Ray Stern contributed reporting.
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