Last week the Phoenix New Times broke the story and outed the libertarian Arizona sheriff Paul Babeu who is running for Arizona’s 4th congressional district in Congress. If you're still catching up, Babeu allegedly threatened his Mexican immigrant ex-boyfriend Jose Orozco with deportation after he wouldn't promise to not disclose their relationship history.
Now, in an exclusive interview with the Washington Blade, Babeu said that he's "110 percent in the race for Congress" and that his election would be “very impactful and helpful” in changing “the views, perceptions, beliefs about who we are.”
“If they know me first as a sheriff, as a police officer who has responded to, literally, thousands and thousands of emergencies, has fought criminals, has actually saved lives and served our country in the military for 20-plus years … and when regular people see those accomplishments and those results first, then understand at a later point that I am gay, it changes people’s beliefs and perceptions and understanding,” Babeu said.
After the story surfaced Babeu denied the allegations but admitted to the fact that he's gay. He has also accused Orozco of identity theft, which he has denied.
It's particularly interesting that a candidate would continue to run for office after sexual material of this nature was revealed, especially after the 2011 situation in which Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner resigned after semi-nude photos of him were spread on social networking platforms and caused much embarrassment for him and the party.
Perhaps this is a new line in the sand—and dating profiles and other erotic material won't be used against candidates? Or it's just a case of a libertarian trying to prove that these sorts of private things shouldn't matter. (Via Out)
In related news: Michelangelo Signorile sizes up the sheriff up with his assessment of how the closet corrupted Babeu. But none of that explains why he ran an abusive private school and had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old boy who was a student there.