Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

LD24 candidate challenge update (and Maricopa County Sheriff)

This afternoon, the Arizona Supreme Court ordered Jean McDermott back on the ballot for the Legislative District 24 Democratic primary for a seat in the Arizona House of Representatives.

Previously, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Arthur Anderson had removed McDermott from the ballot based on the fact that she wanted to use her son's last name as part of her name.

The Supreme Court partially reaffirmed Anderson's decision, but reinstated her to the ballot with her name to appear as “McDermott, Jean Cheuvront” rather than what she wanted, which had her son's name first, “Cheuvront-McDermott, Jean.”

IT IS ORDERED affirming in part and reversing in part the decision of the trial court. The election challenge was timely. Ms. McDermott’s nomination paper did not strictly comply with A.R.S. § 16-311(G). That provision requires that a candidate’s surname be listed first in a nomination paper and on the ballot, followed by a candidate’s given name or names and any abbreviated versions of such names or nicknames. In her nomination papers, McDermott listed her name as “Cheuvront-McDermott, Jean” instead of “McDermott, Jean Cheuvront.” Nonetheless, we find that McDermott substantially complied with § 16-311(G) under the circumstances of this case. The nomination petition forms McDermott circulated for electors to sign listed her name as “Jean Cheuvront McDermott,” which the evidence supports as three names by which she has been known. There was no suggestion that the listing on her nomination paper “could cause any elector to be confused about the candidate” or her identity. See Moreno v. Jones, 213 Ariz. 94, 102 ¶ 42, 139 P.3d. 612, 620 (2006)*. Her substantial compliance, however, does not relieve the election officials of their obligation to follow this dictate of A.R.S. § 16-311(G): “The candidate’s surname shall be printed first, followed by the given name or names.” Therefore,
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED directing the Secretary of State, Maricopa County Recorder, Maricopa County Director of Elections, and Defendant/Appellant Maricopa County Supervisors to place the name “McDermott, Jean Cheuvront” on the August 28, 2012 primary election ballot.
Echoing his comment from last week, House Minority Leader Chad Campbell told me this afternoon, " I have no idea why she wants to use the Cheuvront name considering Ken's voting record."

For the record, Cheuvront's member page on the Arizona Legislature's website lists him as having been recognized as one of the "DLC 100" three different times. The Democratic Leadership Council, now defunct, was essentially "Republican-lite." That's also how Cheuvront conducted himself while a member of the legislature.


* NOTE: Attorney General Opinion I07-010 cites this case and explains the background as it relates to a question of dates on nominating petitions. It is instructive here for showing why the Supreme Court reinstated McDermott to the ballot. See Page 3 of the opinion.


Additionally, on June 19, I reported that Lois Pfau had challenged the nominating petitions filed by Independent candidate for Maricopa County Sheriff Mike Stauffer. That challenge was dropped. Mike Stauffer will appear on the general election ballot in Maricopa County as an Independent.

This, as I see it, makes the possibility that anyone will defeat Joe Arpaio this year remote. Not impossible, but unlikely.

Throw into the mix that a number of activists who support John Rowan (against Paul Penzone) in the Democratic primary are playing out the role of circular firing squad and I'm not seeing a path to victory for anyone in that race besides the villain, Arpaio.

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