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Joe Arpaio, the longtime Maricopa County (AZ) sheriff and a political ally of President Trump, will run in the 2018 Republican primary to replace Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who is retiring.

Arpaio, 85, made the bid official in an interview with the Washington Examiner.

Arpaio, who has frequently talked about seeking higher office, said he decided to run as a “big supporter of President Trump” who would back the president wholeheartedly. He is entering a primary against Kelli Ward, a former state senator also running as a Trump ally. His decision may create an opening for Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), a Republican with more moderate views who is contemplating a bid for the seat and is backed by party leaders in Washington, the Washington Post reports.

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