The odds that Paul Babeu's recently
announced sexuality will not derail his congressional aspirations
appear to be improving.
Many political observers declared
Babeu's campaign for Arizona's 4th Congressional District
to be on life support after the 43-year-old conservative sheriff of
Pinal County acknowledged last week that he's gay in the course of
denying charges that he threatened to have his former partner
Since coming out, Babeu
has also endorsed gay marriage.
If elected, Babeu, who previous to the
allegations surfacing was leading his GOP rival for the nomination,
would become the lone openly gay Republican in Congress.
According to the Arizona
Daily Star, Republicans gathering at a Yavapai Tea Party
meeting were not ready to write off Babeu.
“I care less. I just care less.
Don't preach it on me. Don't push it on me and, by golly, I respect
your rights,” said Bill Halpin, who serves on the local tea party
Others said they were disappointed with
Babeu but added they were hesitant to drop him.
“I have many, many, many friends in
my life that are gay,” Mona Patton, 60, said. “And I don't have
issues with it. But, you know, it's a hurdle for a lot of people,
and it's, I think a shame. … I think he's going to have a hard row
Babeu's campaign said Friday that
$17,000 in political donations had been received since Babeu's
February 18 announcement.