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Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio to fundraise for federal candidates

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PHOENIX (AP) - The self-proclaimed toughest sheriff in America has launched a political action committee to raise money for federal candidates who share his views on immigration enforcement and other issues.

A member of federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement during a raid. (Photo: Associated Press)

The formation of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's political action committee came as three Republican presidential hopefuls and other GOP candidates across the country seek his endorsement.

Chad Willems, chairman of Arpaio's committee known as JoePAC, says the five-term sheriff wants to play a more active role in congressional and U.S. Senate races across the country. Election law prohibits him from pulling money out of his own re-election account to contribute to those candidates.

Arizona Democratic Party spokeswoman Jennifer Johnson says Republicans seeking Arpaio's endorsement should be aware that a federal grand jury is investigating allegations that he abused his powers.

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