On Tuesday, August 28th, Arizona held one of the most highly-anticipated primary races of a particularly heated season. The three person GOP scrum to replace outgoing Republican Senator Jeff Flake saw Martha McSally defeat both Kelli Ward and Joe Arpaio.
While some are undoubtedly keen to celebrate the news that a slightly more moderated Republican bested two hard-liners, but something more worrisome lurks beneath the surface. What ought to give Americans around the nation ample cause for reflection, is that someone like Joe Arpaio proved to be a viable candidate at all.
That’s right, the former Sheriff of Maricopa County, whose discriminatory enforcement practices routinely mired his office in not just controversy, but in legal action, made a surprisingly-successful run at federal office. Yes, the same Joe Arpaio who happens to be a noted and unashamed purveyor of the “birther” conspiracy. The very same Joe Arpaio whose conviction for criminal contempt was pardoned by President Trump.
With 76 percent reporting, Arpaio snagged 19 percent of the total Republican vote. Yes, over 94,000 Arizonans cast a ballot in his favor.
Welcome to ‘Bizarro World’.