As The Range noted last night, Republican mayoral candidate Shaun McClusky has announced that he was withdrawing his candidacy before a court hearing today to knock him off the ballot.
But attorney Bill Risner, who filed the lawsuit to disqualify McClusky, has filed a motion saying that it’s too late to keep McClusky from being tossed from the ballot for insufficient signatures.
In his court filing, Risner argues McClusky can’t withdraw from the race because he’s not a qualified candidate to begin with.
“When you file public records, they are then property of the state of Arizona,” Risner says. “There ain’t no taking back. … I’ve got a lawsuit that I’m going to win and I don’t want to be in a position where he’s got some scheme later or something that they’re working on. I don’t want to worry about thinking about it. I don’t want another lawsuit. He can’t do what he’s doing.”
McClusky didn’t return a phone call from The Range this morning, but he had been telling people he wanted to run as a write-in candidate if he’s kicked off the ballot.
Arizona law prevents a candidate who gets kicked off the ballot or loses a primary from running as a write-in candidate. Some politicos are speculating that McClusky is using his withdrawal method as a last-ditch effort to preserve his chances of running as a write-in candidate.
But Jeff Rogers, chairman of the Pima County Democratic Party, said the strategy wouldn't work because once a candidate turns in petitions to run for office, they are subject to Arizona’s so-called “sore loser” law.
More in this week's Skinny column.