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Suits seek to bar 2 Democrats seeking ex-Rep. Franks’ seat

Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., takes his seat before the start of a House Judiciary hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017, on Oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Franks says in a statement that he never physically intimidated, coerced or attempted to have any sexual contact with any member of his congressional staff. Instead, he says, the dispute resulted from a discussion of surrogacy. Franks and his wife have 3-year-old twins who were conceived through surrogacy. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., takes his seat before the start of a House Judiciary hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017, on Oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Two of three Democrats running in the special primary election to replace former U.S. Rep. Trent Franks are facing lawsuits challenging their right to appear on the ballot.

The suits filed Thursday allege Brianna Westbrook and Gene Scharer are ineligible because many of their qualifying signatures are invalid. Westbrook blames her opponent’s “personal wealth” for the effort to sideline her campaign.

The other Democrat is Dr. Hiral Tipirneni. The lawsuits were filed by Tipirneni supporter Lynda Vescio.

None of the 12 Republican candidates’ signatures were challenged by Thursday’s deadline. A thirteenth GOP candidate withdrew.

Ballots have already been mailed to overseas military voters, making a successful court challenge problematic.

The primary election is Feb. 27, followed by an April 24 general election.

Franks resigned amid sexual harassment allegations last month.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

One comment

  1. It was never “Trent Franks’ seat.” It belongs to the people of CD-8.

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