Gov. Rick Perry has named embattled Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio his Arizona campaign chairman, despite a recent Obama administration report condemning alleged discriminatory practices in Arpaio's office.
In another bold move just days after a disappointing fifth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses, Perry announced his struggling campaign has submitted the requirements to be listed on the Arizona, Illinois, Ohio, Vermont and Washington, D.C., ballots. (Perry has filed suit to be added to the Virginia ballot, where he and other candidates were disqualified for not collecting enough signatures.)
"As my campaign for president moves forward, our superior organization and resources allow me to compete nationwide," Perry said in a statement.
Arpaio, the tough-on-immigration sheriff who gave his long-sought endorsement to Perry last month, has come under scrutiny from the U.S. Justice Department over allegations of racial profiling in his county's efforts to enforce immigration laws. Arpaio has called the move a politically motivated "sneak attack."
"The Justice Department went after me and took away my authority," he said in late December while on the campaign trail with Perry in Iowa. "However, we still have state laws, and I know the governor agrees with state laws, so we need him in Washington, please."
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