Aug. 25 (UPI) -- Controversial former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio announced that he was running for his old Maricopa County job on Sunday, two years to the day since President Donald Trump pardoned him for a federal contempt conviction.
"Watch out, world! We're back," Arpaio said in a press release announcing his bid to run for a record seventh term.
Arpaio, 87, held the position of Maricopa's sheriff from 1993 to 2016 when in November he lost re-election to retired police Sgt. Paul Penzone. Arpaio's 24 years in office made him the country's longest-serving top cop.
In his announcement, Arpaio said he will re-open "Tent City Jail," a policy that brought the self-proclaimed "America's toughest sheriff" national attention and criticism for creating a tent camp where people he identified as illegal immigrants were imprisoned.
He also said he would "reinstate the Posse to its former strength" and enforce all Arizona laws concerning drug trafficking, sex trafficking and crimes associated with the border and illegal immigration.
"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."
He said the last four years since he held the position have been "a time of lost opportunities to continue the kind of tough policing this country needs."
"Once back in office, I will use my position to restore pride to our law enforcement ranks, not only here in the fourth-largest county in America, but across the country," he said.
The announcement comes two years to the day since U.S. President Donald Trump pardoned Arpaio, who had been convicted July 31, 2017, for criminal contempt for ignoring a federal judge's order to cease detaining people on suspicion of having entered the United States illegally.
Arpaio had called his conviction a political witch hunt by President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder while Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called Trump's pardon a "mockery of rule of law and says communities of color can be targeted and abused [with] total impunity."