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Complaint that Cruz lacked mine inspector credentials withdrawn

A petition challenge claiming that Democratic Mine Inspector candidate Manuel Cruz did not meet the qualifications to hold the office was withdrawn June 15.

Cruz said that Arizona Republican Party Executive Director Brett Mecum pulled the complaint after Cruz submitted his qualifications to Mecum’s lawyer for review.

“It was unwarranted,” Cruz said of the challenge.

The complaint questioned Cruz’s work credentials. Mecum had asked around in the mining community about Cruz and was told that no one could verify his credentials.

Based on these inquiries and short biography on Cruz’s campaign website, Mecum alleged the candidate didn’t satisfy the law’s minimum requirements to run for the office.

State requirements include that the mine inspector “shall have been practically engaged in, and acquainted with, mines and mining in this state, and shall have had at least four years’ experience in mining or experience in any industry under the jurisdiction of the state mine inspector, or both.”

Actually, Cruz said he has had about 15 years of experience in mining.

That included working for Blasting Contractors in charge of the company’s safety and explosives division for Arizona. He had also worked in several mines around the state, including the Kalamazoo and Pioneer mines, he said, adding he also worked in mines in New England and upstate New York.

Mecum refused to comment and referred questions to his attorney, who confirmed that Cruz met the qualifications for mine inspector.

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