Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images
Paul Babeu, a “rising Republican star,” according to Talking Points Memo, vehemently denied allegations that he threatened to deport a Mexican former boyfriend. In a news conference Saturday afternoon, Babeu acknowledged that he’s gay but insisted that neither him nor his attorney ever threatened anyone with deportation.
“This was the way, the hook of how this could be brought out (his sexuality) and to malign and attack a sheriff who does stand for conservative principles,” Babue, Pinal County’s sheriff, said, according the Arizona Republic.
Babeu rocketed into the national spotlight in 2010 when he appeared in an ad for Arizona Sen. John McCain, demanding that the government finish “the danged fence” along the Mexican border. Since then he has become a frequent commentator on Fox News about immigration issues and is now running to represent Arizona’s new 4th Congressional District in the House of Representatives.
The alternative paper Phoenix New Times published the allegations Friday afternoon, posting provocative pictures that Babeu allegedly used to find partners online. Babeu’s accuser is only identified as “Jose” by the paper “because Babeu and his attorney have challenged his legal status.”
Babeu’s attorney allegedly demanded that Jose sign an agreement vowing never to reveal details about the relationship. The lawyer allegedly hinted that the attention he would get if he revealed the relationship could result in his deportation. Jose’s lawyer backs up the claim.
On Saturday afternoon, Babeu stepped down from his role as Arizona co-chair of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, reports Talking Points Memo.