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4:12 AM Sun, Jan. 20th

2 petitions filed for Prescott City Council elections

PRESCOTT - Several days into the first week of filing for the Prescott City Council election, two prospective candidates have taken the next step required to get on the city primary ballot.

Billie Orr and Jim Lamerson both filed their petitions on Monday, April 27, the first day they officially could take the step.

Orr, a former teacher, principal, and associate superintendent of the Arizona Department of Education, filed petitions containing 1,178 signatures with Prescott City Clerk Dana DeLong Monday morning.

Lamerson, a local business owner and City Council incumbent currently serving his third four-year term, also filed his petitions, containing 912 signatures.

DeLong said Wednesday, April 29, that the other four prospective candidates - two for council, and two for mayor - have yet to contact her about their plans for filing. The four earlier took out petitions and filed statements of organization.

Meanwhile, the city clerk's office has been working to verify the signatures on Orr and Lamerson's petitions.

DeLong explained that the verification at this stage involves checking to ensure that all of the petition signers listed a Prescott address. If the addresses are not within city limits, the signature is disqualified from the petitions.

Although the verification process for Lamerson and Orr likely will not be complete until Thursday, April 30, DeLong said early indications are that neither candidate's petitions include significant numbers of disqualified signatures.

She estimates there are 30 or 40 disqualified signatures on each.

In neither case would the disqualified signatures likely affect the candidate's ability to get on the ballot, because the minimum required number is 638 verified signatures. Both candidates' petitions significantly exceeded that number.

The verification typically does not go beyond the basic examination of addresses unless the petitions are challenged, DeLong said.

The other four candidates who earlier took out petitions include: Dan Fraijo and Harry Oberg for mayor; and Steve Sischka and Kellogg Patton for City Council.

Earlier this year, incumbent Mayor Marlin Kuykendall announced that he would not be seeking a fourth two-year term, and incumbent councilmen Charlie Arnold and Chris Kuknyo said they would not be running for another four-year term.

Prospective candidates still have nearly a month to collect signatures and file their petitions. The deadline for filing with the city clerk is May 27. While the minimum number of signatures from registered Prescott voters is 638, the maximum signatures is 1,276.

The city primary is set for Aug. 25, and the general election is scheduled for Nov. 3.

Follow Cindy Barks on Twitter @Cindy_Barks