"America's Toughest Sheriff" Joe Arpaio running for reelection in Arizona

/ CBS/AP

A former Arizona sheriff who was pardoned by President Trump said he'll run to reclaim the seat he lost in 2016. Joe Arpaio announced his 2020 campaign for Maricopa County sheriff Sunday on the anniversary of his pardon in 2017 from Mr. Trump on a misdemeanor contempt of court conviction for disobeying an order to stop immigration patrols.

The 87-year-old who spent 24 years as "America's Toughest Sheriff" — according to CBS Phoenix, Arizona, affiliate KPHO-TV — said in a statement he would enforce laws dealing with crimes associated with the border and people coming into the country illegally.

"On this day, August 25, 2019, after consultation and approval from my wife of 61 years, Ava, I have decided to run to be re-elected Sheriff. Watch out world! We are back!" he announced.

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Arpaio also said he wants to reopen his outdoor tent jail closed by Sheriff Paul Penzone. Arpaio lost to the Democrat in 2016 after immigration patrols led to mounting legal costs for taxpayers.

In this Feb. 4, 2009 file photo, Joe Arpaio orders approximately 200 convicted illegal immigrants handcuffed together and moved into a separate area of Tent City, for incarceration until their sentences are served and they are deported to their home countries, in Phoenix. AP

"I will continue to stand and fight to do the right thing for Arizona and America, and will never surrender," Arpaio said. "Those who break the law will have to deal with this Sheriff."

Arpaio said he has been "humbled by the many thousands of people across the nation, including Arizona, encouraging him to run for Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, again."

First published on August 25, 2019 / 10:05 PM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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