Pinal County's Top Cop: Three-Way Race Between Paul Babeu, Ty Morgan and Kevin Taylor
Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, who easily beat out his fellow Republicans in the August primary, is no doubt hoping for a repeat performance against his general Election Day challengers.
Pinal County Sheriff Babeu
He's facing Democrat Kevin Taylor, a former sheriff's deputy in Ohio, and Independent Ty Morgan, a former PCSO deputy.
Just over an hour before the polls, and candidates are feeling confident about their efforts to unseat Babeu.
Morgan spent the day talking to voters, and was confident that he'd run a good race.
"I feel pretty good about it," he says. "We've done everything we can do."
He plans on spending the evening at home his wife and close friends.
Meanwhile, Taylor also said that things are looking real good for his campaign.
"We're getting positive feedback, and some thumbs up at the polls," he says. "You can't win them all, but I know that a majority of people who did their homework ... they'll see that I'm the best candidate."
Taylor's comment about voters doing their homework on the candidates is a clear reference to what they would easily unearth about Babeu and his past.
This election -- running for sheriff -- is Babeu's Plan B, the only option on the table after he dropped his bid for a seat in Arizona's Fourth Congressional District. He stepped back into the race for Pinal County Sheriff, and forced his No. 2 guy, PCSO Chief Deputy Steve Henry, to scrap his own campaign for sheriff.
Once a rising star in the Republican Party, Babeu has faced many political hurdles.
One of the most damning were allegations (first reported by New Times) leveled against him by his former Mexican boyfriend, who claimed that Babeu threatened to have him deported if he didn't sign an agreement to keep quiet about their relationship.
Babeu fired back with allegations of his own against his ex-lover, and both were cleared of criminal wrong doing. But cost Babeu his Congressional run when his money and statewide and national support quickly dried up.
With criminal charges out of the way, there still remained the sheriff's dreadfully poor judgement in sexting and sending half-naked photos of himself to a man he'd never met, and establishing a detailed profile of himself and his sexual preferences on a hook-up site for gay men.
As we and other media outlets delved into the past of this Massachusetts transplant, the public learned that the boarding school where he served as headmaster -- DeSisto School -- was shut down by Massachusetts officials over allegations of sexual and physical abuse.
Then there is Taylor's other opponent -- Morgan.
PCSO's spokesman Tim Gaffney was only to happy to release a list of allegations leveled against Morgan while he was a deputy in Pinal County, including that he was untruthful, failed to obey an order from his supervisor and failing to respond to an emergency call.
Morgan, who was being investigated, was supposed to appear before a internal investigators and was reportedly fired when he didn't show up, according to Gaffney.
Morgan is appealing that decision, maintaining that he filed for medical retirement three days before he was supposedly fired.