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."