The New Times also posted what it said was an online dating profile featuring a photo of Babeu with his shirt off.
Babeu is running to fill Arizona's Fourth Congressional District, a seat that includes both exurban areas around Phoenix and vast rural desert that Rep. Trent Franks had represented before redistricting altered the map. He's running against Rep. Paul Gosar, who currently represents Arizona's sprawling First Congressional District, and state Sen. Ron Gould. Both an independent survey and a poll for Babeu's own campaign showed the sheriff leading the freshman Congressman
and Gould among likely Republican primary voters.
Suffice it to say, Saturday's accusation and revelation puts those leads in serious jeopardy.
"There is no question that his budding Congressional campaign is over," Sean Noble, a Republican strategist and former top aide to then-Rep. John Shadegg, wrote in a blog post
earlier today. "For the sake of the party and for the sake of just doing the right thing, he should resign as Sheriff."
One thing that's certainly over: Babeu's tenure as co-chairman of Mitt Romney's campaign in Arizona. Babeu stepped down from his position "so he can focus on the allegations against him," Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in a statement.
One might expect that focus might soon claim time Babeu had otherwise hoped to spend on his Congressional campaign.