Trump defends Arpaio pardon: ‘Sheriff Joe is a patriot’
Former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio is coming to Arlington after all, and landing in the middle of a city mayoral election.
Arpaio will speak April 8 at the Howell Family Farms event venue in an event hosted by mayoral challenger Ashton Stauffer, a promoter said Tuesday.
“The more demonstrators, the better,” Arpaio, 86, said by phone from Arizona.
Arlington Music Hall canceled Arpaio’s April 9 appearance, citing negative public reaction and slow ticket sales for “America’s Toughest Sheriff.”
“I guess some people didn’t like me coming there,” Arpaio said.
“Everywhere I go, they have demonstrators.”
Stauffer, an Arlington restaurateur, is one of three candidates running against Mayor Jeff Williams in the May 4 election along with former Democratic congressional candidate Ruby Woolridge and substitute teacher Chris Dobson.
Stauffer has said her campaign will celebrate small businesses and promote legal immigration under the slogan “Arlington Citizens First.”
Front Row Events owner Casey Gibbs of Azle said he contacted Stauffer after the Music Hall cancellation.
“Due to the threats they were getting, we agreed to cancel that date,” Gibbs said.
Security at Howell Farms will be Stauffer’s responsibility, he said.
Tickets are on sale for $50, or $125 with a VIP reception.
Arpaio is also appearing April 9 in Bullard, near Tyler.
Known for his aggressive pursuit of immigrants here without permission, Arpaio said he supports President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency to reallocate money toward a border wall.
“He should be able to take the money under him and move it around,” said Arpaio, an early Trump supporter.
“That’s his executive privilege,” Arpaio said.
“Now, I will say that there’s other money dedicated to drug enforcement. How about moving that to the border?”
Arpaio was pardoned in 2017 by Trump. He had been convicted of criminal contempt for ignoring a judge’s order for detaining individuals he suspected of entering the country illegally. He was sheriff of Maricopa County in Arizona from 1993 to 2017.
Last month, Arpaio asked the Supreme Court to block the appointment of a special prosecutor in an ongoing legal fight over the scope of the pardon.
(This story includes information from Star-Telegram archives.)