Tags: Arizona Sheriff | Congress

Ariz. Sheriff Says He's Gay After Misconduct Claims

Saturday, 18 Feb 2012 06:40 PM

FLORENCE, Ariz. — A sheriff seeking the GOP nomination for an Arizona congressional seat has been forced to confirm he is gay amid allegations of misconduct made by a man with whom he previously had a relationship.

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu on Saturday denied claims he tried to threaten the man, who is Hispanic, with deportation if their past relationship was made public. The man's allegations were first published Friday in The New Times, a Phoenix alternative weekly magazine. An attorney for the man didn't return messages from The Associated Press.

Babeu, a first-term sheriff who has risen to national prominence with his strong opposition to illegal immigration and smuggling, says the accusations were an attempt to hurt his political career.

He vowed to continue his campaign in Arizona's rural western 4th Congressional District seat.

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