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Pinal County, Ariz., Sheriff Paul Babeu announced Monday that he is forming an exploratory committee to run for Congress in what will be the 4th district under a new Congressional map pending a legal challenge. The new, sprawling 4th district would cover much of the western part of the state.
The 4th district’s current occupant, Rep. Ed Pastor (D), will run for the 7th district, which more closely matches the geography of his current seat. Babeu has raised his profile with recent criticism of the Obama administration over the Justice Department’s Operation Fast and Furious, but he is also known for appearing in an ad for Sen. John McCain (R) during the 2010 cycle. In the ad, Babeu and McCain tour the Arizona-Mexico border, and McCain famously says “build the danged fence.”
On his exploratory website, Babeu said his campaign platform is for border security and shrinking the national deficit. With respect to the Fast and Furious program, he wrote, “I believe it may be time for a new Sheriff in Washington.”