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Lawyer says lawsuit in Pearce recall in jeopardy

A lawsuit challenging a woman’s candidacy in the Nov. 8 recall election of Senate President Russell Pearce may be in jeopardy because some ballots have been mailed to voters, an attorney said Monday.

Attorney Thomas M. Ryan filed the lawsuit Friday on behalf of a recall supporter. It contends that Olivia Cortes’ candidacy is a sham orchestrated by Pearce supporters to dilute the vote against him.

The suit asks that Cortes’ name be pulled from the ballot, but election officials printed the required 70,000 ballots late Friday in time to mail 102 of them Saturday to overseas and military voters in compliance with federal law.

Ryan said it’s now too late to take Cortes’ name off the ballot because giving different ballots to military service members and to other voters would violate federal election law.

He said he would explore possible options before a scheduled Thursday hearing in Maricopa County Superior Court. One option would be to drop the current case and file a new one after the election, he said.

Cortes has said her candidacy is legitimate. She issued a statement Monday saying she’s the target of a racist attack because she’s Hispanic.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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