Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu announced yesterday that he will seek the Republican nomination for the 4th Congressional District seat, which includes much of Phoenix, AZ, and its outlying areas.
Arizona Sheriff Babeu gained notoriety for standing firmly with one of his deputies who was wounded by suspected smugglers and then later accused of staging the incident. Babeu has also called for Attorney General Eric Holder’s resignation over the ‘Fast & Furious’ gun-running scandal that resulted in deaths on both sides of the border and more than a 2,500 US assault rifles falling into the hands of Mexican drug cartels.
One of America’s toughest sheriffs against illegal immigration, Sheriff Paul Babeu plans to focus on illegal immigration, unemployment and the deficit, running on the slogan “It’s time for a new sheriff in Washington.”
Babeu first campaigned for office at age 17, winning a seat on the North Adams City Council at age 18. He lost his re-election race but later won a seat on the Berkshire (Massachusetts) County Board of Supervisors in the 1990s. He lost elections for state senate and mayor of North Adams (twice) before moving to Pinal County, AZ in 2001 where he found constituents that welcomed his conservative principles. He won his first term as the county’s first Republican sheriff in 2008 by a landslide.
Immediately upon taking office, Sheriff Babeu fulfilled campaign promises launching an all-out reorganization of his command, cutting his own budget, replacing the entire leadership, implementing higher employer standards, and improving training. He also cut emergency response times by 40 percent and aggressively sought and was awarded nearly $7 million in grants, a large part of which went to border security operations. He also removed speed cameras from the county, insisting that his job as Sheriff was to “protect the public – not to be the tax collector for the state.”
Sheriff Paul Babeu is also America’s 2011 “Sheriff of the Year” leading a department of 700 full-time employees. He served America for over 20 years in the Army National Guard reaching the rank of Major. As a Guardsman, Babeu served a tour in Iraq and spent 16 months deployed in Arizona as a Commander with Operation Jump State (OJS) reducing illegal entries by 94 percent.