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Posted at 7:47 a.m. on May 11, 2012
Sheriff Paul Babeu has dropped his Congressional bid.
The Arizona Republican, whose recent admission that he was gay roiled his campaign, made his announcement in an overnight email to supporters.
“I have decided to end our congressional campaign and seek re-election as Pinal County Sheriff,” he wrote. “Yesterday, I informed my campaign staff and our finance team of my decision to run for re-election.”
He framed the decision around concern about succession in his current role as Pinal County Sheriff. It is hard, though, to ignore the fact that in February, his campaign became engulfed in reports about his personal life. Since then, he has been the subject of ongoing accusations and investigations in the local press.
“Many Pinal residents have asked me to stay as their Sheriff and continue this fight,” he added in his email. “Many worried that my voice and impact would be lost if elected as one of 435 members of Congress. I was elected because I listen and respond to the people I represent.”
The newly drawn Arizona 4th seat is Safe Republican. Babeu was hands down the frontrunner and a shooting star in the GOP until the February reports. Rep. Paul Gosar is also in the primary, along with state Sen. Ron Gould.
Rumors continue to fly that other candidates could enter the race.