Trump Wins Endorsement From Controversial Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gives a thumbs-up as he speaks during the Outdoor Channel and Sportsman Channel’s conference. Ethan Miller/Getty Images

(Reuters) - Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump won the endorsement on Tuesday of Joe Arpaio, the provocative Arizona sheriff known for his tough stance on illegal immigration.

Arpaio joined the real estate billionaire in Marshalltown, Iowa, to voice his support before the Iowa caucuses on Monday, the Trump campaign said in a statement. The caucuses are the first contest in the nomination race for the Nov. 8 presidential election.

"I have great respect for Sheriff Arpaio. We must restore law and order on the border and respect the men and women of our police forces. I thank him for his support of my policies and candidacy for president," Trump said, according to the statement.

"Donald Trump is a leader. He produces results and is ready to get tough in order to protect American jobs and families," Arpaio was quoted as saying.

"I have fought on the front lines to prevent illegal immigration. I know Donald Trump will stand with me and countless Americans to secure our border. I am proud to support him as the best candidate for president of the United States of America," Arpaio added.

Arpaio, 83, the sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, since 1993, has been found guilty of racial profiling in a federal court, and been accused of abuse of power, misuse of funds and unlawful enforcement of immigration laws. He bills himself as "America's toughest sheriff."