As the GOP candidate for sheriff in Maricopa County, Arizona, Jerry Sheridan, has some big (and much-vilified) shoes to fill.
Sheridan is the first Republican nominee since longtime Sheriff Joe Arpaio — long the villain of the American left, particularly because of his vigorous enforcement of immigration law — and beat the former sheriff in the Republican primary.
He faces Paul Penzone, the Democrat who beat Arpaio in 2016, in November’s contest.
Sheridan has a good chance of recapturing the seat for the GOP.
While Maricopa County is becoming more liberal, President Donald Trump still won over Hillary Clinton in Arizona’s most populous county, which includes Phoenix, by a 49 percent to 46 percent. Arpaio, with branding issues brought on by decades of left-wing attacks, lost by a 56 percent to 44 percent margin to Penzone.
Upon hearing this, you might come to the conclusion Sheridan is the RINO type, the type of Republican that the party suzerains think is acceptable to voters in swing counties. Happily, you’d be wrong — unless you think that RINOs talk about having “jail buses … lined up” to transport rioters to jail.
Yes, this wouldn’t be unusual except in 2020, a year where we’re expected to believe that people who destroy property (or worse) should be handled with inexhaustible patience.
“I will enforce people’s constitutional rights to peaceably protest,” Sheridan said in an interview with Breitbart News published Sunday.
“However, as soon as someone throws a rock or a bottle that is no longer a peaceful protest. I will declare it an unlawful assembly and immediately disperse the crowd before it becomes a riot.
“I will have jail buses, that we transport inmates in, lined up in rows to arrest the people that do not disperse.”
Sheridan, who was with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office for 33 years, including a stint as Arpaio’s chief deputy, says that it’s the job of the sheriff to “protect property and life.”
“I’m not fooling around with this. These rioters, they don’t just attack Republican businesses,” he told Breitbart.
“They don’t just attack and destroy and burn and loot businesses in wealthy communities. They attack, especially small business owners that probably have their life savings, their life work in these places, [the rioters] don’t discriminate,” he continued.
“They tear them all down, and it’s my job as the sheriff to protect everybody. Regardless of the location in Maricopa County, regardless of who owns the businesses.”
Maricopa County hasn’t seen as many riots as other major American conurbations, but it has seen some unlawful assemblies since the protest movement re-emerged in the wake of George Floyd’s death in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25.
Most notably, the county saw the looting of a Scottsdale mall in May. In the intervening months, 55 people have been arrested for their role in the riot. According to The Arizona Republic, controversial YouTube personality Jake Paul is seen as an instigator in the event; charges were dropped against him on the same day his house was raided by the FBI.
Of course, few of us would have thought of typing those words out six months ago. The landscape of America is changing, and for the immediate future, the prospect of rioting and unlawful assembly will be a constant companion.
There’s a pretty good reason why Sheridan is foregrounding this message, and it’s not because he’s running for sheriff. Most Amricans are sick of the rioting, whether we hear about it from afar or experience it ourselves.
And yet, the left has tried to normalize rioting even as its mainstream politicians have realized it’s a losing issue for them.
California Sen. Kamala Harris, the vice presidential candidate, has tried to paint herself as being against violent protest all the way down the line. Yet, she promoted the Minnesota Freedom Fund, a bail fund that’s helped bail protesters out in Minneapolis.
It took Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden months to come out with a statement about rioting.
“I want to be clear,” Biden said in a statement in late August as violence in Portland, Oregon, continued to rage.
“Rioting is not protesting. Looting is not protesting. Setting fires is not protesting. None of this is protesting. It’s lawlessness. Plain and simple. And those who do it should be prosecuted.”
If he wanted to be clear, he should have been clear earlier. What this moment requires, in fact, is clarity — clarity like Jerry Sheridan is willing to provide.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.