The self-proclaimed “America’s toughest sheriff” was re-elected to a sixth term yesterday in Arizona, defeating a retired police sergeant and overcoming opposition from Hispanic groups.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, 80, a Republican, was defiant as he addressed supporters last night, criticizing the media for portraying the race as close and sending a message to Hispanics and President Barack Obama that he won’t back down from his controversial immigration enforcement. He said he would run again in four years.

Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio attends the third day of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida. Photographer: pencer Platt/Getty Images
“I will continue to enforce all the laws, including illegal immigration,” he said. “Nothing changes.”