Ron DeSantis, an attorney and veteran from the First Coast who is running in a crowded Republican primary for an open congressional seat, announced on Thursday that he had won the backing of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the Arizona law enforcement officer who has won national notice for his stances ranging from immigration to President Barack Obama’s birth certificate.
Arpaio pointed to DeSantis' record on immigration and military service as reasons he was backing him.
"I'm proud to endorse Ron DeSantis for Congress because I know he will stand up for the rule of law and get tough on illegal immigration," said Arpaio. "Ron's service in Iraq and as a prosecutor gives me confidence in his ability to take on the insiders and be a conservative leader in Congress. Ron is the conservative we can trust."
"I am pleased to be endorsed by Sheriff Joe Arpaio," DeSantis said. "Like Sheriff Joe, I believe that illegal immigration is a major problem that undermines the rule of law. We must enforce the laws we have on the books, secure our borders and deny special benefits to illegal immigrants such as in-state tuition rates. This approach is best for American citizens and is fair to those who have taken the time and effort to go through the legal immigration process."