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Mesa to be in national spotlight as it hosts GOP debate

In 2009, this city had so many foreclosures that President Barack Obama appeared at one of its high schools to speak about the national housing crisis. In 2011, a Mesa district recalled its state senator and anti-immigration leader Russell Pearce in a historic election. A month ago, Gov. Jan Brewer shook her finger at Obama at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.

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Babeu facing long odds after gay outing

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu built a reputation as a rising, conservative star by taking a hardline stance against illegal immigration, attacking the Obama administration and appearing alongside Sen. John McCain in a 2010 re-election ad in which McCain urged federal officials to just "complete the danged fence."

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