Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu announced last week that he's considering running for Congress -- his chief deputy, Steve Henry, however, apparently thinks Babeu is definitely running for Congress, and is now considering running for his boss' job, the Pinal County Sheriff's Office confirms to New Times.
PCSO spokesman Elias Johnson says Henry has formed an exploratory committee for a potential run for sheriff -- which seems a bit premature considering Babeu is only considering a run for Congress (so he says -- it's been rumored for months that Babeu planned to seek higher office).
The Congressional 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.
Prior to his gig with the PCSO, Henry was an officer with the Chandler Police Department, which is the same cop-shop where Babeu served as the head of the police union.
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Henry's resume (compliments of Southwest Border Sheriffs) is as follows:
Chief Henry served as Traffic Section Commander for the Chandler Police Department. He has served as acting Patrol Watch and District Commander. As a Sergeant, Henry served in Bicycle Patrol, Neighborhood Services, Patrol and in SAU/SWAT in charge of deployment and tactical decisions in high risk Police incidents. Henry has also served as an Internal Affairs Investigator and Special Enforcement Detective. Henry earned his Bachelors degree in History at Arizona State University and received his Masters of Education from Northern Arizona University. Henry served active duty with the US Air Force and US Army, where he later became a commissioned Army Officer. He has numerous awards and unit citations, including the Police Medal of Honor.
Henry already has the endorsement of the Southwest Border Sheriffs -- despite not yet having announced his potential candidacy. We expect a tip of Babeu's political cap to follow.
Johnson says an announcement will be made about Henry's potential candidacy tomorrow morning. Stay tuned...