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>> He's one of Arizona's best known politicians, billing himself as America's toughest sheriff. Now Joe Arpaio is running for the US Senate, seeking redemption after a criminal conviction and a pardon from President Trump.>> I'm Andy Sullivan in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, where Sheriff Joe, as he's known, is holding a campaign rally shortly before Tuesday's primary election.
It might be the final act in a political career that's spanned decades.>> Polls show Arpaio trailing the other two Republican candidates. Representative Martha McSally and former state senator, Kelli Ward. Tuesday's winner likely to face Democrat Kyrsten Sinema in one of the most closely watched senate races in the country.
Arpaio's rivals focusing their attacks on each other.>> I'm known around the world, you would think that my opponents would go after me every hour, on the hour, all they say is I'm nice guy.>> Arpaio built a national reputation as sheriff of Maricopa County forcing prisoners to wear pink underwear and sleep outdoors in Arizona's striffling heat.
>> Our troops live in tents, they went to Saudi Arabia to protect you guys three years ago. They lived in the dessert and they didn't even commit a crime.>> A hero to conservatives,>> Fight with him for what he does, immigration, we really need it.>> But drawing accusations of racial profiling.
Defeated by a wide margin in 2016, then convicted of criminal contempt of court, his career over until he was pardoned by Trump last year. Now at age 86, telling voters he'd support Trump 100% in the senate, but forced to explain an awkward appearance on Sacha Baron Cohen's prank show.
>> I want the guns to be taken back because they are dangerous.>> Bad guys are going to get their guns, it's gonna kill you. I screwed up.>> Arpaio facing blowback from Conservative voters who say he's a spoiler, splitting the right-wing vote.>> In many respects, Arpaio was a forerunner to Trump, his bare-knuckles approach to immigration now widely embraced by the Republican party.
But that may not translate into success at the ballot box, Republican strategists tell me that his comeback bid is looking like a long shot.>> Meanwhile, Arizona's other senate seat is also open, following the death of John McCain. Governor Doug Ducey is expected to name a replacement after McCain's funeral.