Controversial Phoenix area sheriff Joe Arpaio told supporters Friday he would run for a seventh term at the helm of law enforcement efforts in Maricopa County, Arizona.
The 82-year-old Republican, who bills himself “America’s toughest sheriff,” sent an email to supporters announcing that he would run again in 2016, seeking donations in a race he said would pit him against “celebrity lefties” who are trying to defeat him.
“Going up against Barack Obama’s political machine, Hollywood leftists and their millions as well as a hostile local and national media is extremely expensive, which is why I need your financial support,” Arpaio said in the email.
Arpaio, who was first elected in 1992, is known for his tough stance on immigration, as well as conditions that opponents have said are too harsh in the county’s jails.
The sheriff was one of a number of Obama critics who said they did not believe the Democratic president had been born in the United States.
He said in 2012 that a “volunteer posse” had investigated Obama’s birth certificate and determined it to be fraudulent. The so-called “birther” movement had been widely discredited by that time.
(Reporting by Sharon Bernstein; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)