After months of speculation that Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu planned on seeking higher office, he announced this morning that he's considering running for Congress.
"I believe the real deficit in Washington is one of leadership," Babeu says in a statement issued this morning. "Almost three years after the 800 billion dollar stimulus disaster, nearly one in ten Americans is unemployed. In some of our communities, that number is more than double. Meanwhile we have a 14 trillion dollar national debt, with budgets in the red as far as the eye can see."
The seat Babeu's got his eye on doesn't even exist yet -- it's what would be Arizona's Fourth Congressional District, as it's been proposed by the Congressional Redistricting Committee.
The proposed district includes parts of six current districts and covers the northern part of Pinal County, stretching into western Arizona.
Congressman David Schweikert currently lives in what would be District Four, but has said he plans to run for a different seat that includes Scottsdale and Paradise Valley.
Babeu, who's often compared to a younger version of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio because of his constant crowing about illegal immigration, is already making the problems at the border a focus of his potential campaign.
"Arizona is ground zero in the fight against drug and human smuggling," Babeu says. "Rather than secure our border and enforce the law, what did we see from our Federal government? Signs in my county warning Americans to stay away, because the cartels were in control; a lawsuit against the people of Arizona; a declaration that the border is more secure than ever. Meanwhile, 400,000 people unlawfully enter our state every year, tens of thousands with criminal records, some from nations that sponsor terrorism."
Babeu plans to make a final decision about whether he'll run early next year.