PHOENIX — Two-term Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu will vie for the open 1st Congressional District next year, he announced Monday.
“This will be a top-five seat in the country, extremely competitive. The Republicans want to pick it up to expand their majority in Congress,” Babeu said.
Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick will be battling Republican John McCain for his Senate seat next year. Babue joined former Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett and rancher-businessman Gary Kiehne seeking his party’s nomination.
The sheriff said illegal immigration will be among his priorities along with overturning Obamacare and guarding against attacks on the 2nd amendment.
“We’ve had a front-row seat, not just in terms of border security or lack thereof, illegal immigration is out of control. Releasing criminal illegal immigrants into our community by the thousands is going to be stopped.”
The 1st Congressional District stretches from Flagstaff through the White Mountains and south to Pinal County and northern Pima County. The district is one of the largest in the country and encompasses rural and suburban areas plus several Native American tribes.
Babeu began his law enforcement career as a Chandler police officer before becoming the first Republican Sheriff of Pinal County.