Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who is running as a Republican for a U.S. Senate seat in Arizona, told his campaign to “stand up” for conspiracy theorist Alex Jones after several social media companies banned Jones from their platforms.
Dustin Stockton, a senior Arpaio strategist, wrote on Twitter that Arpaio has directed the campaign to look into purchasing advertising on Jones’ Infowars outlet “to help provide resources as they fight for free speech”:
In July 2017, Arpaio was found guilty of criminal contempt of court over his refusal to comply with a court order that said he could no longer direct the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office to engage in racially discriminatory practices against Latinos. He faced up to six months in jail, but he received a pardon from President Donald Trump before he was sentenced.
Shortly before the pardon was officially announced in August 2017, Arpaio appeared on Jones’ show and credited Infowars with bringing his case to Trump’s attention, saying, “I want to thank you, Alex, and your staff, Jerry Corsi, Roger Stone, for bringing this story out and reaching the president. I supported him from, what, two years ago at the same forum that he did yesterday and I’m with him and I’m with him to the end.”
Jones hosted Arpaio again in January and called on his listeners to donate to and volunteer for Arpaio’s campaign while pushing a conspiracy theory that “illegals” will try to steal the election from Arpaio.
Arpaio is facing U.S. Rep. Martha McSally and former Arizona state Sen. Kelli Ward in a primary contest later this month to determine the Republican nominee for an election to fill the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Jeff Flake. In addition to Jones, Arpaio’s right-wing media allies include Frederick Smith, a senior executive at Sinclair Broadcast Group.
Update: Arpaio also sent an August 6 email to supporters that asked for campaign contributions so he can purchase advertising with Jones. He wrote, in part: "I've instructed my campaign to reach out to Jones and purchase some advertising. ... If you donate now, you'll be supporting both Sheriff Arpaio and free speech."