Sheriff Paul Babeu of Pinal County, Ariz. -- recently accused of threatening to deport a former boyfriend -- denied Monday that he had done anything illegal and said he would continue his bid for a congressional seat.
"I have never run from a fight and am not going to now," Babeu told interviewer Wolf Blitzer on CNN.
"I am a single man, never have been married and don't have a fake girlfriend," said Babeu, who also served in the military. "I want to be judged on my life of service."
Last week, the Phoenix New Times, an alternative weekly, reported an allegation that Babeu had threatened to deport his former boyfriend, a Mexican immigrant, if he revealed their relationship. The man was identified only as Jose.
Babeu called the allegation "slanderous and baseless," though he acknowledged having had a three-year relationship with the man. He said that Jose was a legal resident and that a sheriff didn't have the authority to deport anyone.
In interviews, Jose has also said he is a legal resident.
Babeu said Jose was an expert on social media and websites, and had worked on his campaign as a volunteer. He accused Jose of trying to steal his property, identity and images.
Babeu acknowledged Saturday that he was gay, and he told CNN on Monday that he supported gay rights -- positions that could hurt him in his conservative district.