Republican Senator Jeff Flake (Arizona) on Tuesday dismissed former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s bid for the Republican nomination to replace him in the Senate, telling reporters “Write about it fast because it won’t last long.”
Flake, who announced last year he would not run for re-election in 2018, said the controversial former Sheriff will fizzle out as a candidate, according to the Washington Examiner.
“Write about it fast because it won’t last long,” Flake told reporters at the Capitol after attending a meeting at the White House on immigration.
Arpaio, 85, joins former state Sen. Kelli Ward in the race for the seat after Flake announced that he would not seek re-election last year.
The winner of the primary will likely face Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., in a general election contest.
Both candidates have earned praise from President Trump in the past, and Trump pardoned the former sheriff, who was convicted of criminal contempt due to his tactics while targeting illegal immigrants.
Arpaio served as county sheriff for 24 years before losing his re-election in 2016. He would be the oldest member of the Senate if elected in November.