Democrat O'Halleran wins 1st District House seat, defeats Babeu

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PHOENIX (AP) -- Democrats have held on to the Arizona congressional seat that Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick vacated to run for Senate.

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Tom O'Halleran defeated Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu on Tuesday in the 1st Congressional District.

Babeu had scant support from national Republicans in the Democratic-leaning district spanning Flagstaff to the Tucson suburbs.

He was dogged by allegations that he oversaw a Massachusetts boarding school where students were abused. He also faced fallout from the 2012 congressional race he quit after scantily clad pictures he posted on a dating website surfaced and a former lover accused him of threats. Babeu was cleared of the threat allegations.

O'Halleran had his own issues to overcome. He was a Republican in the state Legislature from 2001 to 2009, ran for House as an independent in 2014 and registered as a Democrat last year.