Sheriff Paul Backs Out Of One Race And Into Another

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Guess Washington doesn't need a new Sheriff, after all.

Paul Babeu announced Friday he was withdrawing from the race for Congress out of District 4, instead focusing on a re-election to his post as Pinal County Sheriff.

The move isn't surprising, considering the amount of negative publicity and controversy Babeu has amassed in the last three months amid allegations he was attempting to deport a former lover/campaign volunteer if the man went public with their affair. More surprising was that it took this long for Babeu to see the big picture and realize his chances of being elected to Congress were dead in the water after the Phoenix New Times first broke the story in February.

Babeu's tweets the last few weeks should have hinted at this move, as nearly every one was related to a function in Pinal County, only a sliver of which is in the district he was running for Congress in.

Babeu's withdrawal statement, not surprisingly, makes no mention of the recent scandal. Rather, it cites a ruling by the federal office of Special Counsel that said Babeu's Chief Deputy, Steve Henry, was unable to continue to run for Sheriff while still in his position overseeing personnel and programs that are federally funded.

So, instead, Babeu will now force his second-in-command out of the race by re-entering it. Classy.

That being said, assuming Babeu is re-elected in November, we can look forward to a few more years of his declarations of Pinal County (that of the boundaries that get no closer than 75 miles to Mexico) as a 'border county.'

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