Karen Hobbs, a former prosecutor for the La Paz County Attorney’s Office who was fired recently after she moved to run in the election for County Attorney, has been excluded from the ballot after a judge decided she had not gathered the necessary signatures.
Hobbs needed 82 signatures from La Paz County voters to run as a candidate in the Republican primary against her former boss, Tony Rogers, a Democrat. She submitted 185 signatures on April 6th after being fired by Rogers a few days beforehand.
But a citizen and voter, Michelle Robinson, challenged Hobbs’ submission of the signatures in La Paz County Superior Court. According to state law, anyone circulating a petition to include a candidate on the ballot must “verify that each of the names on the petition was signed in his presence on the date indicated” and that “in his belief each signer was a qualified elector.”
According to a ruling Friday by Judge Robert Olson, Hobbs pre-signed and photocopied the circulation affidavits with her signature on them before voters signed them, rather than signing to verify afterwards. Olson ruled that this violates the state statute, and renders the signatures submitted as invalid. The judge also ordered that Hobbs cannot run as a write-in candidate, because state law explicitly excludes anyone who has failed to submit enough signatures to be on the ballot.
Hobbs has until Wednesday to file an appeal. She represented herself in the case.
Candidates for Sheriff will include incumbent Bill Risen, Quartzsite Police Chief Will Ponce, Frank Vidrine, Felipe “Phillip” Rodriguez and local activist Michael Roth. The only candidate for Supervisor District 1 is David Plunkett. Incumbent D.L. Wilson is not seeking re-election. Candidates for District 2 Supervisor include incumbent Duce Minor and former County Community Development Director Jeff McCormick. Candidates for District 3 Supervisor includes incumbent Holly Irwin and her 2016 challenger, Gary “Zak” Zakrajsek. Candidates for School Superintendent include Dru Waggoner and LeRoy Shontz. Incumbent Jacque Price will not seek re-election. Candidates for County Assessor include incumbent Anna Camacho and Dennise Jones. Candidates for County Recorder include Richard Garcia, who is currently serving as an appointee in the role after Shelly Baker retired, and Mesena “Missi” Tunnell-Gilbert. The only candidate running for County Treasurer is incumbent Leah Castro.