“America’s Toughest Sheriff,” Joe Arpaio, announced his endorsement of Donald Trump for president on Tuesday.
The Arizona lawman was slated to participate in a rally with Trump later in the day in Marshalltown, Iowa, less than a week before the Hawkeye State’s caucuses.
Arpaio has staked out a reputation for being tough on illegal immigration while serving as the top law enforcement officer of Maricopa County, which encompasses Phoenix and is the nation’s fourth most populous county.
— CNN (@CNN) January 26, 2016
In a statement released by the Trump campaign, the sheriff said: “Donald Trump is a leader. He produces results and is ready to get tough in order to protect American jobs and families. I have fought on the front lines to prevent illegal immigration, and I know Donald Trump will stand with me and countless Americans to secure our border. I am proud to support him as the best candidate for president of the United States of America.”
“I have great respect for Sheriff Arpaio,” Mr. Trump responded. “We must restore law and order and respect the men and women of our police forces. I thank him for his support of my policies and candidacy for president.”
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Arpaio is well-loved in the tea party movement, and his backing of Trump comes on top of evangelical leader Jerry Falwell, Jr.’s endorsement, also announced on Tuesday.
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin traveled to Iowa last week to announce her support for Trump’s candidacy. Following her endorsement, the billionaire candidate shot ahead of Senator Ted Cruz in the most recent Fox News poll, 34 percent to 23 percent. In the previous Fox poll conducted two weeks ago, Cruz was in the lead, 27 percent to Trump’s 23.