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Sat, Oct. 19

Lockwood challenges Springer's nominating petitions

Carol Springer

Carol Springer

PRESCOTT - Georgene Lockwood, a Republican candidate for the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors, District 1, is challenging the nominating petitions of incumbent Supervisor Carol Springer.

Lockwood Wednesday filed a complaint in Superior Court challenging the validity of about 40 signatures. The complaint also alleges that the petition circulators left the petitions unattended and were not present when people signed them, as the law requires.

Lockwood is asking the court to declare that Springer does not have enough signatures to run in the Sept. 2 Republican primary. She also wants the court to issue an order to Recorder Ana Wayman-Trujillo, and Supervisors Tom Thurman and Chip Davis not to place Springer's name on the primary ballot.

Springer filed 604 signatures, 144 more than the 461 necessary to qualify for the ballot.

Lockwood is basing her challenge on irregularities in petition gathering as well as technical issues such an unregistered voter signing the petition.

"The nominating process is not something to be taken lightly. We have strong evidence that petitions were not circulated properly, that affidavits may well be false and that legal corners were cut in getting enough signatures. The law is the law. The integrity of the campaign process effects how we ultimately govern. Our campaign followed the law and so should everyone else. Ignoring the letter of the law is just a symptom of what is wrong with the incumbent and the way she conducts county business," Lockwood said. "It is not right 'because everyone else does it.' We

certainly didn't."

Springer said Wednesday evening that election officials have not officially notified her about Lockwood's challenge.

In response to the allegation she left her petitions unattended, Springer said she has "no idea where that would have happened."

"I feel very confident that I have enough valid signatures. I welcome the challenge, and I will see her (Lockwood) in court," Springer said.

Gil Shaw, Lockwood's campaign director and legal counsel, filed the petition on the final day to submit a challenge.

County Elections Director Lynn Constabile said that as of early Wednesday afternoon she had not received the challenge.

After Shaw files the legal complaint with the Superior Court, the court serves Constabile with the papers.

Constabile said she would then notify Springer of the challenge.

Voter registration officials check the validity of the challenged signatures and give a report to the court.

Constabile said after hearing the evidence, a judge would rule on the other allegation regarding who, if anyone, witnessed people signing the petitions.

The court has 10 days to hear the challenge and make a decision.

If the court upholds Lockwood's challenge, Springer has five days to appeal to the Arizona Supreme Court.

Lockwood said her decision to challenge Springer's nomination petitions is one she took "very seriously. I know I am taking a chance, but I feel this is something I have to do. I stand for integrity and openness; it is what my whole campaign has been about."

Contact the reporter at prhoden@prescottaz.com

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