GOP hopefuls show bona fides with scandal-scarred sheriff

So far, Paul Babeu isn't scaring anyone away.

Despite personal scandal derailing his congressional bid three years ago, the Arizona sheriff and immigration hawk is proving popular with some top-tier Republican presidential candidates looking to bolster their border security credentials. In conjunction with the Arizona Security and Prosperity Project, Babeu was scheduled to host a Monday evening tele-town hall featuring Carly Fiorina. Ben Carson is scheduled to participate in a similar event at an unspecified date.

Babeu's 2012 campaign stalled when a Mexican immigrant he was romantically involved with accused him of threatening to deport him if he publicized their relationship. Babeu acknowledged that he was gay but denied any wrongdoing and was later exonerated. He won re-election as Pinal County sheriff a year later. As the 2016 campaign heats up, Babeu is again a top tier congressional candidate — and again proving popular with GOP contenders.

"Carly enjoys tele-town halls, answering voters questions," Fiorina campaign spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said, in an email exchange with the Washington Examiner. "We have ones coming up in Ohio and Texas as well."