Behind every great Republican presidential candidate, there has to be a closeted gay man willing to sell out his own people. The latest kapo is Sheriff Paul Babeu (right) of Pinal County, AZ, who stepped down as a co-chairman of Mitt Romney’s campaign on Saturday after the The Phoenix New Times reported earlier in the week he threatened to deport his Mexican ex-boyfriend.
Did we mention Babeu has made his name in Grand Canyon State politics by being tough on immigration?
A 34-year-old man, identified only as “Jose” in the New Times article, says that he an Babeu began a relationship after meeting on Adam4Adam.com. But, he claims, their years-long affair ended when he refused to sign a contract stating he would never mention their relationship. Jose accuses Babeu and his attorney of trying to intimidate him with threats of being deported.
Speaking to the press on Saturday, Babeu admitted he had a relationship with Jose but denied making any threats. “[Those accusations] are absolutely, completely false—except for the issues that refer to me as being gay. Because that’s the truth. I am gay.”
It’s not clear how the accusation (and Babeu’s disclosure) will affect the Arizona primary at the end of the month—or Babeu’s own run for Congress.
At the press conference, Babeu appealed to voters to look at his record, not his orientation, when casting their ballots. “I want to be judged on my service: 20 years in the military, two deployments—including one in Iraq—a police officer who has responded to thousands of calls for help, and a sheriff who has cut response times while reducing my own budget.”
Being judged on your actions and not your sexuality? Maybe Babeu hasn’t taken a peek at the Republican Party handbook.