Paul Babeu, Pinal County Sheriff, Far Ahead of Republican Challengers

Incumbent Paul Babeu had a huge lead in the Republican primary race for Pinal County sheriff, with more than 62 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results.

About half of the votes had been counted.

It isn't surprising that Babeu was beating three other GOP candidates to advance to the November 6 General Election. He was the only candidate with huge name recognition.

Unofficial results show that Democratic candidate for sheriff, Kevin Taylor, had nearly 58 percent of the vote, with challenger Glen Millsaps trailing with 42 percent.

Although a fallen star in the national Republican Party, Babeu still was a household name from his days of continual appearances on conservative talk shows, many on the national Fox network. He became the national spokesman for right-wing conservatives on illegal immigration in Arizona, a younger and more articulate version of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Babeu quit his bid for a seat in Arizona's 4rh Congressional District following a firestorm of controversy that resulted when his ex-boyfriend, a Mexican national, alleged that the sheriff and the sheriff's attorney threatened him with deportation if he revealed details of the romance.

Though he came out as a gay man after the boyfriend's allegations, the border hawk appeals to his county's large number of conseratives by railing against the Obama administration and illegal immigrants.

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Monica Alonzo
Contact: Monica Alonzo