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IRC approves legislative draft map on 4-1 vote

Despite objections about a lack of competitiveness, divisions of like-minded communities and concerns that some regions were given more consideration than others, the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission approved a draft legislative map, one day before it begins a 30-day series of public hearings.

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Cortes bows out to avoid court hearing (access required)

Olivia Cortes, who faced a lawsuit claiming she was a sham candidate, withdrew today from the recall election targeting Senate President Russell Pearce.

Her withdrawal from the high-profile race was part of a deal she made to avoid having to face another court hearing on Friday in which more witnesses were expected to link her candidacy with Pearce supporters.

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Cortes’ lawyer asks Supreme Court to dismiss lawsuit, stop hearing

Olivia Cortes’ lawyer today asked the Arizona Supreme Court to stop a hearing scheduled for Friday and to declare the case against the beleaguered recall candidate moot.

Ballots have already been printed for the Nov. 8 special election targeting Senate President Russell Pearce, and the lawsuit against Cortes is therefore moot, argued Anthony Tsontakis, who earlier successfully defended Cortes against a temporary restraining order seeking to kick her off the ballot.

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New witnesses to testify in Cortes lawsuit

A judge has scheduled a Friday hearing to allow new witnesses to testify in a lawsuit that seeks to disqualify the candidacy of a Mesa woman whose critics say is in the race to help Senate President Russell Pearce keep his seat. Election Attorney Thomas Ryan, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of a Pearce critic, plans to call more witnesses during a 3:30 p.m. evidentiary hearing.

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