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3 disputed Greens drop out

Less than a day after a federal judge said they had the right to stay on the ballot, three alleged “sham” Green Party candidates withdrew from their races.

Christopher Campbell, a Senate candidate in Legislative District 10, Clint Clement, a House candidate in Legislative District 17, and Ryan Blackman, a candidate in the 5th Congressional District, officially withdrew from their races the morning of Sept. 10, according to the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office.

The three were part of a slate of Green Party write-in candidates whom Democrats accused of being GOP recruits who switched their party registration and entered their races to siphon votes away from Democrats. Their withdrawals come the day after U.S. District Court Judge David Campbell ruled against the Arizona Green Party in its bid to have the candidates thrown off the ballot.

A Maricopa County Superior Court judge will hear arguments in a separate lawsuit involving the Green Party candidates on Sept. 13.

Two others dropped out before the ruling as well. Legislative District 23 Senate candidate Ryan Blackman pulled out of his race on Sept. 8, and Secretary of State candidate Michelle Lochmann withdrew on Sept. 1.

The withdrawals pull Greens out of races in which they could have helped swing the election to Republicans. Campbell was running in the same district where an alleged “sham” Green candidate helped defeat an incumbent Democratic lawmaker in 2008, and Republican Steve May hoped to seize one of the Democrat-controlled House seats in District 17.

May accused Democrats and the Arizona Green Party of intimidating the candidates enough to force them out of the race. May paid for former U.S. Attorney Paul Charlton to represent four Mill Avenue street people he recruited to run as Green write-ins, but said most of the disputed candidates cannot afford attorneys.

“The Democrats knew their case was bogus. All they wanted to do was intimidate and harass these people and get them to drop off the ballot,” May said.

The three candidates who dropped out Sept. 10 could not be reached for comment.

Ironically, all three could still end up on the ballot. Maricopa County began printing ballots at 7 a.m., before the candidates withdrew. Depending on which district’s ballots were printed first, one or all of them could still be on the ballot, though votes for them in the November general election would not count, said Assistant Secretary of State Jim Drake.

“I can’t guarantee that they won’t be on the ballot,” Drake said.

Lochmann actually tried to get back on the ballot, but Drake said candidates are not allowed under state law to get back in the race after withdrawing.

“Once you’re off, you’re off,” Drake said. “Buyer’s remorse.”

The superior court lawsuit, which was filed on Sept. 8, also seeks an injunction that would prevent county officials from printing and distributing ballots with the disputed candidates’ names on them, although Maricopa County has already started printing its ballots.

The suit was filed by the Democratic-tied law firm Perkins Coie Brown & Bain, with four Arizona voters listed as the plaintiffs. One of those voters, Barbara Njos, is the activities and volunteer coordinator for the Pinal County Democratic Party.
 
In addition to the 11 candidates named in the Green Party’s federal lawsuit, the superior court suit also names Green gubernatorial candidate Larry Gist as a defendant. Gist was the lone Green candidate in the governor’s race, but is not endorsed by the party, which is openly opposed to his candidacy.

5 comments

  1. Jeremy Duda! Thanks for at least taking the time to do some Fact Finding. Nice. Appreciated. Per my Facebook Comment to Angel Torres and Luisa Yvonne Valdez~I am currently learning Spanish to better communicate with ALL of the people! Building Bridges is Imperative! Burning Bridges and creating Segregation is Ignorant! Please explain to me (Luisa and Angel~ AKA Hypocrite and yes…I will say this to your face)when I approached the ENDORSED Arizona Green Party about the Formal Process for ENDORSEMENT there were no ANSWERS~ Not From AZ Greens Nor the Capitol, SOS Office!!! If one were asked about the definition of Profiling.. this might come accross as Profiling.How Hypocritical to Create Such a Rucus about SB1070 and then bash Honest, Genuine, Educated, Citizens that are Exercising their Constitutional and First Ammendments Rights to Run For Office and Represent Leadership. I have bi-racial children and if they are EVER treated in the way I have been treated as a Write in candidate Non-Hispanic, Non- Gay, Non-Partisan in Some Way Shape or Form…in any part of their life… in any situation iti is called DISCRIMINATION!The Endorsed Green Party Has Hypocritically Discriminated Against One Of Their Own! Unbelieveable!!! Comprehend the 10 Key Values. I am not feeling the LOVE!! SLANDER is an Ugly Shade of Green!!! There is NO Excuse Endorsed Green! My suggestion is to Rebuild Bridges. This is why the Tea Totalers loose their white minds ..it comes across as a very biggotted argument when presented as your Endorsed Green presented today…very racially motivated..not good for the cause…this should not be about color, creed, religion, sexuality, gender when you refer to affiliation of party members and their sincerity in party affiliation…I am very disappointed in the Endorsed Greens..Boo today…tomorrow is a new day and there’s room for improvement. You asked the Govt. to come in and strip the Constitutional Rights that you are fighting so hard to achive and promote…it saddens me the way in which you presented such a faulty argument! Co~ Exist People! Legally Blonde has Spoken! Flaka Gringa! Peace out! Take it or Leave it! Not everyone has to like me but, Thank God we live in a Country where there is Freedom of Speech! Biggotry and Intollerance is violent and Ugly…Look in the Mirror all of the Partys IncumbanT. I will Create a New Green and If I have More followers than your current Ugly Following Live Long and Prosper! No one cares about your Sexual Orientation! We all enjoy Sex in one way shape or Form! Who Cares! Seriously! The More you talk about It The more your Seperate Yourself from the REST! We all have a Comon Goal and It is to preserve and Protect our NAtion! Come together people and Save our US (that’s us and United States!!!!It’s that F’in Simple! Thank you Judge Campbell! (sp?) I type faster than I think!

  2. The GOP operatives who recruited the candidates took advantage of a state election law that’s patently unfair to the Green Party.

    According to this law, Democratic and Republican candidates must collect signatures from voters registered in their respective parties to qualify for the ballot, while someone can become a Green candidate by getting just one write-in vote in the primary. Arizona law makes the Green Party’s ballot line vulnerable to tampering by outside parties for their own purposes.

    We can be certain that Democrats and Republicans in Arizona and elsewhere would scream bloody murder if another party attempted to recruit candidates, homeless or otherwise, to run on their ballot lines.

    Lots of states have laws, passed by Democratic and Republican politicians, designed to weaken or obstruct other parties. There is nothing natural or inevitable about two-party rule (just a step away from a one-party state), especially when the two parties maintain their hold through biased ballot access statutes and a winner-take-all election system.

    Greens challenged the legality of Arizona’s election law not because they wanted to clear the way for Democratic victories, but because the law hurts Greens and possibly other parties.

    The Green Party welcomes homeless people and encourages them to run as Green candidates, if they do so through the party, are knowledgeable about important issues, and support the Green platform. We’ve had homeless candidates for public office in the past and have at least one right now, in California. We do not encourage candidates who’ve been recruited by operatives from other parties to run as Greens. The recruited candidates in Arizona were exploited by Republican operatives for the benefit of the GOP.

    Scott McLarty
    Media Coordinator
    Green Party of the United States (http://www.gp.org)

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