Tonight, Joe Arpaio— the disgraced ex-sheriff and candidate for U.S. Senate in Arizona—will be the divisive headliner for a GOP fundraising dinner in Douglas County. Joe Arpaio is a notorious bigot who racially profiled Latinos and was convicted of criminal contempt last year. This comes just days after the Washoe GOP hosted conspiracy theorist and convicted felon Dinesh D’Souza.
For the past month, all we’ve heard from Nevada’s Republican politicians on Joe Arpaio is crickets. It shouldn’t be hard for Republican Sen. Dean Heller to speak out against Arpaio since he was so outspoken about Trump’s decision to pardon Arpaio saying “I don’t believe anybody’s above the law.” Except now, caught between a brutal primary and a tough general election, Sen. Heller has been deafeningly silent on Arpaio’s Senate campaign or upcoming visit.
Meanwhile, Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Adam Laxalt has also declined to speak out against Arpaio’s visit, despite this being the second time Laxalt has been expected to appear with Arpaio in Nevada. In September, Laxalt drew criticism from his primary opponent Dan Schwartz for scheduling to appear alongside Arpaio at a Las Vegas conference. Even Schwartz pointed out how far right Laxalt was willing to go saying, “Adam has really shown himself to be very far to the right” and even “alt-right.”
Nevada State Democratic Party Executive Director Alana Mounce released the following statement on Joe Arpaio’s visit to Nevada:
“Republicans are bringing shame on Nevada by inviting a racist and corrupt criminal like Joe Arpaio here and celebrating him as a keynote speaker. The craven silence on Arpaio’s visit from Republican politicians like Sen. Heller and Attorney General Laxalt demonstrates just how out of touch they are with our diverse state. Joe Arpaio spent his career ripping apart immigrant families and terrorizing the Latino community, and the repulsive values he represents don’t belong in any corner of our great state.”