A controversial Arizona sheriff and Donald Trump ally, whose immigration policies have drawn court rebukes, is among the special guests headlining a popular S.C. Republican event next week.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is one of three special guests – with U.S. Reps. Mick Mulvaney, R-Indian Land, and Mark Meadows, R-North Carolina – attending U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan’s annual Faith and Freedom Barbecue Monday in Anderson, the Laurens Republican’s office said.
Arpaio has faced criticism for his immigration tactics. He also was found in contempt of court in May for violating an order to stop racially profiling Latinos.
"As you know, Sheriff Arpaio has built a reputation for being one of America’s toughest sheriffs,” Duncan said in a news release.
“Like myself, he has consistently brought attention to the need to secure our borders and combat illegal immigration. He also knows that Blue Lives Matter, and is all too familiar with the dangers that law enforcement face on a daily basis.”
The S.C. Democratic Party struck out at Duncan and Mulvaney for associating with Arpaio at the event.
"The fact that Jeff Duncan and Mick Mulvaney would honor a racist and sexist bigot like Joe Arpaio is disgusting, but given their support of a racist and sexist bigot like Donald Trump for president, it is not surprising," a party statement said.
Duncan’s barbecue, now in its sixth year, previously has drawn GOP presidential hopefuls and prominent S.C. Republicans. The $35-a-ticket event will be held at the Anderson Civic Center at 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 22.