Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu says he’ll continue his run for Arizona’s 4th Congressional District after allegations by a former lover that Babeu threatened him with deportation if he didn’t keep his mouth shut. But Babeu resigned from Mitt Romney’s Arizona committee and admitted he’s gay.
“This whole rumor, this whole of idea of who I am in my private life has been shopped around,” Babeu told reporters during an hour-long press conference Saturday in front of his sheriff’s office. “This was a way, the hook, of how this could be brought out, and to malign and attack a sheriff who does stand for conservative principals, who does enforce the law.”
Babeu denies he threatened the man, identified only as “Jose.”
The New Times posted a photo provided by the man of the two embracing. It also posted a cellphone self-portrait of a smiling Babeu in his underwear and another of what appears to be the shirtless sheriff in a bathroom, posted on a gay dating website. The man provided the magazine with photos of himself and Babeu and text messages between the two. Babeu didn’t deny their authenticity.