Paul Babeu Ends Bid For Congress

Babeu Makes Big Announcement

Paul Babeu, the Pinal County, Ariz. Sheriff who confirmed he was gay in February after allegations surfaced that he had threatened a Mexican ex-boyfriend with deportation, announced that he was no longer running for Congress as a Republican in the state's 4th District and would run for re-election as sheriff instead.

"I have decided to end our congressional campaign and seek re-election as Pinal County Sheriff. Yesterday, I informed my campaign staff and our finance team of my decision to run for re-election," said Babeu in a letter to supporters sent out early Friday morning.

The Phoenix New Times reported last February that the anti-illegal immigration sheriff had threatened 34-year old Jose Orozoco with deportation if he spoke out about their relationship. He acknowledged the relationship and announced his support for same-sex marriage but has denied the deportation allegations. He then stepped down as Arizona co-chair of Mitt Romney's presidential campaign. Orozoco has since filed a $1 million notice of claim against Babeu and the county.

The Arizona Republic reported that Babeu's fundraising had slowed after the allegations.

Babeu memorably walked along the U.S.-Mexico border with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in a 2010 McCain re-election ad, in which the senator implored the federal government to "complete the danged fence."

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