Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Friday, June 13, 2014

More Ballot Challenges -- UPDATED 2:50 pm 6-16-14

In addition to the challenges mentioned in my previous post, several more lawsuits seeking to disqualify candidates for Congress, the state legislature and statewide offices have been filed.

Congressional candidates facing challenges:
  • James Samuelson, CD5 Independent; challenge filed by Tim LaSota, an attorney who works primarily for Republicans. Hearing scheduled for 6/17 at 1:30 pm.
  • Scott Fistler, aka "Cesar Chavez"; filed by James Barton, who generally works for Democratic candidates or party groups. Hearing scheduled for 6/17 at 10 am.
  • Chuck Wooten, CD2 Republican. Challenge filed in Pima County Superior Court. Information not as easy to find online for PCSC cases. There are two other Republican candidates. It's hard to see how anyone but another GOP candidate would be interested in challenging Wooten's candidacy at this stage. Wooten's facebook page (I don't find a website for him in a google search) has an interesting cartoon about cleaning out Eric Cantor's Congressional office. No doubt, Martha McSally doesn't want to get Cantorized. After all, the retired Air Force fighter pilot doesn't like to tell voters or the media what her positions are on issues.
Legislative candidate challenges:
  • Toby Farmer, LD13 Republican senate candidate, plaintiff is Don Shooter, the incumbent GOP senator. More than likely, Shooter doesn't like the idea of being Cantorized. I don't know much about Farmer, but clearly, Shooter is vulnerable. Hearing scheduled for 6/16 at 1 pm.
  • Patricia Flores, LD3 Republican house candidate. LD3 is an Hispanic Voting Rights district currently represented by Sally Ann Gonzales and Macario Saldate. Suit filed in Pima County, so I don't have hearing date/time or plaintiff counsel information.
  • Justin Henry, LD20 Republican senate candidate. The LD20 Republican incumbent, Kimberly Yee is very vulnerable for multiple reasons. Yee, like Shooter, is a fan of the lobbyist gravy train of gifts and entertainment. She also disrespected veterans suffering from PTSD during the 2014 regular session. Mike Liburdi filed the lawsuit on behalf of an LD20 voter. Hearing scheduled for 6/18 at 2 pm.
  • Ethan Orr, LD9 Republican incumbent/candidate. Orr made some moderate votes this year in the House, and therefore is loathed by the hardline GOP in Tucson, but this challenge comes from a Democratic voter and was filed by Jeff Rogers. Orr was quoted in the Arizona Republic as saying, "I don't want to be taken off the ballot on a technicality produced by a smart lawyer. I want to have a genuine policy debate and let the voters decide." Which is all well and good IF he actually has enough valid nominating signatures. Cheating is not a technicality, and playing the victim is a sign of weakness.
  • Scott Ryan, LD18 (Ahwatukee, West Chander, South Tempe) Independent house candidate. Hearing scheduled for 6/19 at 1 pm. Plaintiff is represented by attorney Adam Lang. I'm not familiar with Lang or who he generally represents. There are four Republican candidates (only one of whom is an incumbent, Bob Robson) and one Democrat (Mitzi Epstein, currently serving on the Kyrene School Board).
  • Bryan Hackbarth is facing TWO challenges in his bid to stay on the ballot seeking a seat in the LD21 Republican primary. There's only one incumbent running but a total of three GOP candidates for the two seats. Non-incumbent candidate Tony Rivero, a Peoria councilman is one of the plaintiffs and is represented by Eric Spencer. Voter Kathryn French is represented by Kory Langhofer in the other. Both are scheduled to be heard 6/18 at 2 pm.
Statewide candidate challenges:
  • Barry Hess, perennial Libertarian candidate for governor, is being challenged by Kevin McNeill who is represented by Eric Spencer. Hearing is scheduled for 6/19 at 9 am.
  • Sharon Thomas, Democratic candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction is being challenged by voter Patricia Ann Dowd, who is represented by Joe Kanefield. Hearing is scheduled for 6/19 at 10 am.
By the way, Tim LaSota did not respond to my request for a copy of his lawsuits against either Farmer or Samuelson.


The lawsuit challenging Sharon Thomas in her bid to become state schools superintendent can be viewed here. In addition to the Order to Show Cause hearing scheduled for 6/19, a telephonic hearing was conducted between plaintiffs counsel and attorneys for the Secretary of State and for some of the county recorders. From BallardSpahr attorney Beau Roysden:
There was an emergency telephone call with the judge, counsel for Plaintiff and counsel for the SOS (as well as a few counties) yesterday at 3:30 on the narrow issue of whether the SOS was the statutory agent for service of process for the county recorders and county boards of supervisors in this case. In plain English, the issue was whether formal service of process could be delivered to the SOS's office for these defendants or instead whether Plaintiff would have to formally serve each defendant separately. Given that there are 30 county defendants (one recorder and one board of supervisors for each of the 15 counties), it was impracticable to send a process server out to every county seat in the state to perform formal service yesterday. In the call, the judge indicated that he reads the statute as allowing service to be made on the SOS.
The SOS did not dispute that it was the agent for service of process for the candidate, it only disputed whether it was the agent for the counties.
The lawsuit challenging Carlyle Begay's quest to be elected to the office he was appointed to by Andy Biggs... er, the Apache County Board of Supervisors, to fill the vacancy when Jack Jackson Jr. resigned to take a job in the Obama administration... can be viewed here.

Regarding the challenge to Ethan Orr's candidacy, the Pima County Recorder apparently issued a report,
But the Pima County Recorder’s Office has reviewed the challenged signatures and determined that the freshman Republican lawmaker turned in 393 valid signatures, so Orr may have cleared the hurdle.
Rogers told The Range he was still reviewing the county’s report and didn’t know if he’d continue the challenge.
As a side note, Mary Rose Wilcox appears to be still trying to cast doubt on Ruben Gallego's name change situation.

June 16 UPDATE

I don't know if I missed it the other day or if the Secretary of State's office just found out today about the challenge filed by a citizen named Eric Orton (representing himself) against Libertarian candidate for the LD26 senate seat, Jennifer Knepfler. But the case is now on the SOS list and here's what I've been able to find out so far.

Knepfler, who submitted 14 signatures to qualify for the LD26 senate libertarian nomination, is being challenged (hearing scheduled for Wednesday morning 6/18 at 9 am) by self-represented Republican voter Eric Orton. However, there is no Republican candidate for that office. Independent candidate Dale Eames filed 1820 signatures to earn a spot on the November general election ballot against Democratic incumbent Ed Ableser. So, the most likely scenario is that Orton is a surrogate for Eames and doesn't want Knepfler splitting the opposition to Ableser.


Additional updates include that Republican Patricia Flores withdrew her candidacy for LD3 state representative; and Libertarian Helmuth Hack withdrew from the race for a seat in the Arizona House from LD21 (Peoria).

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