PHOENIX — Republican state Sen. Don Shooter of Yuma on Tuesday filed a
lawsuit challenging the legality of signatures his opponent filed to qualify for
the August primary, one of several challenges of candidates set to appear on the
Lawyers for Shooter allege in the Maricopa County Superior Court lawsuit that
Toby Farmer signed petitions that contained multiple forged signatures. The suit
seeks a court finding that Farmer committed petition forgery and is therefore
ineligible for the ballot.
Shooter’s campaign consultant, Constantin Querard, said multiple voters signed
sworn affidavits saying they never signed Farmer’s petition. Querard said the
campaign also plans to turn the evidence it has gathered over to a law
Farmer said in an emailed statement that he did not forge campaign signatures.
“I have retained counsel to fight these false allegations and I am confident I
will be cleared in Monday’s trial,” Farmer wrote. “I look forward to
continuing my campaign.”
Shooter represents District 13 and chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Another legal challenge filed Tuesday targets Republican Rep. Ethan Orr of
Tucson. Pima County Democratic Party spokesman Jason Ground said almost half of
Orr’s signatures should be disqualified, enough for the Legislative District 9
representative not to make the ballot.
Orr said that’s unlikely and he plans to remained focused on the campaign.
“I just want to focus on talking about the issues and the election and let’s
let the voters decide,” Orr said. “We have some very serious issues in this
state – let’s talk about those.”
Other challenges to candidates’ qualifying signatures have resulted in mixed
results. A challenge to Randy Camacho’s bid to appear on the Congressional
District 7 Democratic primary ballot was dismissed and Camacho remains on the
ballot. Democratic Congressional District 7 candidate Johnnie Robinson withdrew
after a challenge threatened, as did CD3 candidate Miguel Olivas.
Challenges remain against Legislative District 3 Republican candidate Patricia
Flores, 5th Congressional District independent candidate Tyler Bowyer and
Democratic 7th Congressional District candidate Cesar Chavez.
Other challenges could emerge before Wednesday’s cutoff for questioning the
validity of petitions qualifying candidates for the ballot.