05/03/2012 10:38 am ET

Jim Pendergraph Goes Birther With Joe Arpaio Support

A Republican congressional candidate has the support of Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio -- and shares his doubts about President Obama's birth certificate.

“I have reason to be suspicious,” Jim Pendergraph told the Charlotte Observer. “But I don’t know. I haven’t seen the facts. I think there’s a lot of smoke and generally when there’s smoke there’s got to be fire somewhere.”

Pendergraph, a former sheriff, is running in North Carolina's 9th Congressional district, and Arpaio appeared with him Saturday at a campaign event in Lancaster, N.C. The two men described each other as friends, according to HispanicBusiness.com, and praised each others' hard-line views towards immigration.

Arpaio also took questions about his team's investigation into the authenticity of Obama's birth certificate, a project he has described as a "favor" to the president. He repeated the group's findings that the document has been forged, a notion Pendergraph is willing to entertain.

"I've been around long enough to know people can forge anything," the candidate told the Observer.

Protestors attended the event Saturday holding signs reading “hate is not welcomed here," according to local outlet WCNC.com.