Arizona Republican Paul Babeu will run for reelection as Pinal County Sheriff and drop his bid for the state's 4th Congressional District, according to a letter Babeu sent to campaign supporters Friday morning.
Babeu barely mentioned his candidacy for Congress in the email, except to thank people for supporting him in the first paragraph. Instead, he said that he was withdrawing from the race to ensure continuity in the sheriff's office.
"I have decided to end our congressional campaign and seek re-election as Pinal County Sheriff. Yesterday, I informed my campaign staff and our finance team of my decision to run for re-election," Babeu writes in the letter, sent at 4 a.m. Arizona time.
But Babeu's heralded campaign hit a wall in February when he was outed and accused by a former boyfriend of threatening him with deportation. Analysis by the Arizona Republic showed that Babeu's fundraising slowed markedly after the allegations, and they completely submerged Babeu's law-and-order platform for weeks.
Last week, Babeu's campaign denied rumors that he was gathering signatures for the sheriff's race. "It's 100% not true," Babeu consultant Chris DeRose said.