Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio endorsed District 26 House of Representatives candidate Adam Kwasman on Nov. 16, during a downtown press conference that was quickly interrupted by Occupy Tucson protestors.
Arpaio and Kwasman called for the press conference in the wake of Senate President Russell Pearce being recalled earlier this month.
Kwasman, a Republican, said liberals are trying to get Republicans out of office, but noted that for every one lost, there will be 10 more conservatives running.
Kwasman, who was also endorsed by Oro Valley Councilman Joe Hornat, said state lawmakers must work to pass laws that will help law enforcement officials, such as Arpaio, fight illegal immigration.
When asked if Republicans are losing the argument over illegal immigration because of Pearce’s recall, Arpaio said, “Are we losing control over illegal immigration because of the loss of one great Senator? No. I am going to do more.”
Kwasman said the key to success is not just about electing more Republicans, but about “electing conservatives.”
“I am conservative first, and Republican second,” he said. “I love the idea of exploring mandatory sentencing for illegal immigrants. We need to make sure the sheriff has all the tools necessary to incarcerate and fight illegal immigration.”
While Kwasman applauded Arpaio’s hard-nosed stance against illegal immigration, he called Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik a “disgrace,” when it comes to fighting drugs and illegal immigration.
“We have to do whatever it takes to fight drug smugglers, cartels and illegal immigration,” said Kwasman.
While Kwasman and Arpaio spoke about illegal immigration, the Occupy Tucson movement interrupted the Nov. 16 press conference.
The group of protesters shouted, “go away Joe,” among other things. Arpaio and Kwasman then proceeded to question the protestors about their message. Kwasman is seeking his first term with the Arizona Legislature.
Rep. Vic Williams, who has formed an exploratory committee to consider running for District 1 of the
Pima County Board of Supervisors in 2012, will likely vacate the seat.
Pima County Supervisor Ann Day is not running for reelection.