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Boyd Dunn removed from Arizona Corporation Commission ballot

Arizona Corporation Commissioner Boyd Dunn speaks with Arizona Power Supply chairman Don Brandt, Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Arizona Corporation Commissioner Boyd Dunn (AP Photo/Matt York)

A judge removed Arizona Corporation Commissioner Boyd Dunn from the Republican Party primary ballot after invalidating a large number of nominating signatures, including some a paid circulator acknowledged in court she had forged.
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Roger Brodman said in a ruling that Dunn was short 92 signatures to qualify for a spot on the ballot. The judge excluded the 166 names the worker for a contracted collection firm submitted and several hundred others that were deemed invalid.
Dunn, a Republican, is seeking a second term on the five-member commission, an elected panel with duties that include regulating utilities.
He filed 7,361 signatures and needed 6,663 to make the ballot. Brodman disqualified 790, leaving Dunn short of the required number.
Brodman’s ruling said an 18-year-old petition circulator had notified Dunn’s lawyer that she forged or falsified more than 100 signatures. She testified in court that she could not identify which ones were forgeries.
Brodman ruled Thursday that all the signatures she collected would be thrown out and that Dunn was unaware of the situation until the circulator contacted his lawyer.
It is unclear if she will face charges. No complaint has been received by the Maricopa County Attorney and the state attorney general’s office didn’t immediately return messages seeking comment.
“I have great faith in our judicial process and look forward to making my case on appeal,” Dunn told The Arizona Republic.
Dunn’s attorney, Jack Wilenchik, said Friday he’ll appeal to the state Supreme Court. He plans to challenge Brodman’s decision to combine two separate challenges, either one of which he said would have left enough valid signatures to remain on the ballot.
“We win them separately but combined we lose,” Wilenchik said.
He said candidates should not have to face such a combined challenge when they are filed separately, calling it a due process issue. In a signature challenge, counties review the challenged signatures and create a report, which a judge then reviews.
“What Judge Brodman allowed in this case was for the plaintiffs to produce essentially a third report, which they tried to combine the two counties reports … and hit the defendant with that on the day of trial,” he said.
Four Republicans and three Democrats remain in the running for the commission.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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