PINAL COUNTY, AZ - Is it a political bump in the road, or the beginning of the end for one of the GOP's rising stars, Sheriff Paul Babeu?
Babeu came out publicly about his sexuality after allegations surfaced that he threatened to deport an ex-lover if he told anyone about the relationship.
"The biggest issue for him is what kind of damage was caused when he thought he used poor judgment when he thought no one was looking," said image consultant Cary Pfeffer.
Babeu says he was trying to keep his private life private, but all that came to an end after reports an ex-lover claimed Babeu threatened to deport him if he said anything about their relationship.
"At no time did I, or anyone who represents me, ever threaten deportation," said Babeu.
The allegations come as Babeu makes a run for congress in Congressional District 4, one of the most conservative districts in Arizona.
Experts say Babeu should have been upfront with the public, eliminating the opportunity for these types of allegations to surface, but now he must deal with the issues head on.
"The best way to handle it is to address the elephant in the room and give his take on the charges that are being brought up," said Pfeffer.