Could Sheriff Joe be considering a run to replace retiring Sen. Jon Kyl? If he wasn’t before, you can bet your pink panties he’s thinking about it now.
Via Talking Points Memo:
It’s too soon to crown anyone Arizona’s next Senator — but on the same day Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) announced his intent to run, a new poll of Grand Canyon state Republicans shows Sheriff Joe Arpaio leading the field to replace the retiring Sen. Jon Kyl (R).
Arpaio has not announced his intention to run for the open Senate seat next year, though there’s long been speculation that Arpaio — an absolute rockstar among the anti-immigration set in the GOP — is interested in higher office. His name has been mentioned among those that might run for Kyl’s old seat, and it’s certain he’d enter the race with significant financial support from his national allies.
Roll Call‘s David Drucker breaks the news that Arpaio’s statewide Republican support would be strong as well. The poll from Summit Consulting Group shows Arpaio with a narrow lead over Flake, who just made his run for Senate official on Monday.
The numbers: Arpaio leads with 21% support, Flake comes in second with 17%. Former Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R), who briefly gave Sen. John McCain a scare during the 2012 Senate primary, before being crushed by McCain on primary day, came in third with 16.6%.
Having the anti-immigration sheriff run against Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, whom many have said has the right of first refusal on the Democratic nomination if she recovers quickly enough to run, would pit a conservative superstar against a newly created media darling, giving the senate race a national focus that few would be able to resist watching.