Meet the candidates for US Senate: Joe Arpaio

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Joe Arpaio said he always wanted to be a federal agent. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Joe Arpaio said he always wanted to be a federal agent. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Of course, his name recognition exploded worldwide when he served 24 controversial years as sheriff of Maricopa County. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Of course, his name recognition exploded worldwide when he served 24 controversial years as sheriff of Maricopa County. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Arpaio said he doesn't want to retire. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Arpaio said he doesn't want to retire. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
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FOUNTAIN HILLS, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

When you’re side-by-side with former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, you better like Frank Sinatra. That’s because you’re going to hear Old Blue Eyes signature song "My Way" every time his personal cell phone rings. And it rings a lot.

Arpaio is quick to say, “My wife doesn't like this song."

When you ask him if the lyric “and now the end is near” makes her sad, he confirms his wife Ava prefers something a little bit more upbeat.

But if you ask him if this campaign is his final curtain, he's quick to respond.

"I just got one more chapter to go, six years, U.S. senator," Arpaio said.

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Arpaio wants to add more memories here on the walls of his Fountain Hills office that reveals clippings and accomplishments from a career in law enforcement that spans almost six decades. It started at age 18 with a stint in the Army during the Korean War where he learned to be a cop.

"I did my three years, came home. But I always wanted to be a cop, so I joined the Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Police Department at 21. That’s aggressive," Arpaio said.

[SPECIAL SECTIONS: Election 2018 | Arizona politics]

 It was then off to Las Vegas PD, and one, memorable traffic stop, involving a speeding motorcycle driven by Elvis Presley. 

“Of course, it was 1957, beautiful blonde on the back of his motorcycle. Now I wasn’t watching the blonde. I didn’t know who he was. So, I took him down to the police station and I gave him a pass," Arpaio said.

But there was always a bigger goal.

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“I wanted to be a federal agent. When I was a kid, I wanted to be an FBI agent. So, a federal drug agent (DEA) was pretty close," Arpaio said.

Arpaio served the DEA all over the world, like Turkey, South America and Mexico. But he first went undercover in Chicago.

Arpaio talked about when he met with the director.

"He says, 'You Italian?' I said. 'Yeah.' 'You got any problems locking up the mob?' And 'nah,' I said, 'I'll lock anybody up,'" Arpaio said.

When asked if his time spent at the DEA undercover resulted in some hits still out on him, he responded, "Well, yeah I got a few."

[RELATED: Meet Arizona's candidates for US Senate: Martha McSally]

Of course, his name recognition exploded worldwide when he served 24 controversial years as sheriff of Maricopa County, bringing in the infamous Tent City, resurrecting chain gangs, pink underwear, you name it. And he was called a lot of names as well, by the public and foreign journalists worldwide.

"I get a little agitated," Arpaio said, speaking of the press. "I don’t like being meanest. Now I don't want to be called the nicest. But toughest, it kind of fits me and that's what they've been calling me for years."

[SPECIAL SECTION: Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio]

“You wanna be blunt? That's my problem, I talk too much! So, I have nothing against the media," he added.

When asked if he agreed with President Donald Trump that the media is the enemy of the people, he quickly added, “Oh I don’t think he really means enemy. I think he's confused because he's not getting a good response, you know?"

[VIDEO: Former Maricopa Co. Sheriff Joe Arpaio talks about Senate run]

So, why run now and what about retirement?

“I'm not done yet! I have much to offer, much to offer this president, this state, and this country. So why would I just sit on a porch and smoke a cigar and look at a pool? Which I don't have by the way and I don't smoke," Arpaio said. "But it has nothing to do with publicity or ego. I’m a fighter and I’m not done fighting yet.”

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