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 New Times.

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 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 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, HIV Negative.”