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Ariz. sheriff quits Romney campaign, says: 'I'm gay'

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu speaks at a news conference on Saturday in Florence, Ariz. Babeu was forced to confirm he is gay amid allegations of misconduct made by a man with whom he previously had a relationship.

A sheriff has stepped down as Arizona co-chairman of Mitt Romney's presidential campaign amid allegations of misconduct made by a man with whom he previously had a relationship.

At a press conference Saturday outside his office in Florence, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu called the man’s allegations, published Thursday in a Phoenix New Times story, "completely false."


He said the only information mentioned in the article that's true is "I'm gay," The Arizona Republic reported.

Babeu, who is also running for Congress in Arizona’s new 4th Congressional District, quit his position as Romney’s Arizona co-chairman but vowed to stay in the congressional campaign.

"Sheriff Babeu has stepped down from his volunteer position with the campaign so he can focus on the allegations against him," Romney spokesman Ryan Williams told The Arizona Republic in a statement. "We support his decision."

Babeu, who was elected in 2008 as the first Republican sheriff of Pinal County, has gained national media attention for speaking out against illegal immigration and the unsecured U.S. border with Mexico.

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