Court keeps Arizona official out of GOP primary over forged signatures
PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Supreme Court has upheld a decision to remove Corporation Commissioner Boyd Dunn from the Republican Party primary ballot after one of his campaign workers told the court she had forged some of his nominating petition signatures.
The justices affirmed Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Roger Brodman’s ruling that Dunn does not have enough signatures to qualify for the primary, upending his bid for a second term on the five-member commission, which regulates utilities.
“I have been honored to serve the citizens of Chandler and the state of Arizona over the past 30 years,” Dunn, the former mayor of Chandler, said in a statement. “While I am disappointed that the justices didn’t rule in my favor, I respect their decision.”
The ruling also allowed two challenges against him to get consolidated into one.
Dunn’s attorney Jack Wilenchick said he would have survived either challenge alone. But both the Maricopa County Superior Court judge and the Supreme Court determined his argument was not strong enough against both.
“The candidate had timely notice of the challenges to the signatures on his petitions in each of the two verified complaints,” the justices said. “Therefore, his claims that the doctrines of estoppel, laches and due process preclude the combining of the results from both of the cases fail because the candidate had timely and proper notice of each challenge to each signature as required by (state statute).”
Brodman ruled that Dunn was short 92 signatures to qualify for a spot on the ballot after excluding the 166 names the 18-year-old petition circulator submitted and several hundred others that were deemed invalid.
Dunn filed 7,361 signatures and needed 6,663 to make the ballot. Brodman disqualified 790.
It is unclear if the worker will face charges. No complaint has been received by the Maricopa County Attorney.
Three Republicans and three Democrats remain in the running for the commission.
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