Paul Babeu, the sheriff of Pinal
County, Arizona and a GOP candidate for Congress, on Saturday
acknowledged he's gay, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Babeu, however, denied other claims
made by a former lover in a story published Thursday by the Phoenix
The man, a Mexican national identified
only as Jose, claimed that Babeu, a vocal opponent of illegal
immigration who was featured in Senator John McCain's 2010 campaign
ad advocating for greater border security, had threatened him with
deportation when he refused to sign an agreement stating that he
would not discuss their relationship.
At an outdoor news conference in
Florence, Arizona, Babeu called the allegations “absolutely,
completely false, except for the issues that refer to me as being
gay. Because that's the truth. I am gay.”
The 43-year-old Babeu added that he had
stepped down as a co-chairman of Mitt Romney's Arizona campaign.
However, he vowed to continue his campaign to represent the people of
Arizona's 4th Congressional District.
Jose told the paper that he met Babeu
online in 2006 at the dating website gay.com. He added that he
created and maintained Babeu's campaign websites and his social media
presence, but wasn't paid for his services. Babeu's lawyer has
acknowledged that Jose worked as a campaign volunteer and claimed
that he hacked into a campaign website.
The Phoenix New Times' story
also included a photo of an Adam4Adam.com profile allegedly belonging
to Babeu. The user, studboi1, advertises that he's a “good guy
looking for another” and is “vers/top, 7” Cut, Safe Sex Only,