AZ candidate accused of lying about where he lives - WFSB 3 Connecticut

AZ candidate accused of lying about where he lives

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A judge could decide Thursday whether Darin Mitchell should be thrown off the November ballot because of allegations he lied about where he lives.

Mitchell was one of two candidates who won the Republican primary in District 13 last month.

Since there are no democrats running in the race, Mitchell would have a clear path to a seat at the state capitol.

However, that could change pending the outcome of a lawsuit filed in Superior Court.

The lawsuit alleges that Mitchell does not live in his district and should be thrown off the ballot.

According to Arizona law, A.R.S. 16-311(A) "A candidate for public office must ... reside in the district the candidate proposes to represent."

Attorney Thomas Ryan filed the lawsuit on behalf of state lawmaker Russ Jones (R-Yuma), who Mitchell defeated in the Republican primary.

"He is clearly deceiving the voters in LD 13," said Ryan. "When a candidate lies to the voters about his residency he has forfeited his right to run for that office. That's the situation we have here."

The lawsuit states that Mitchell lives at a home in Avondale, about two to three miles outside district lines.

However, Mitchell has listed a home in Litchfield Park as his primary residence.

The Litchfield Park home is currently being remodeled.

Barry Voegele lives next door. He told CBS5 that he's never seen Mitchell before, or anyone else living in the house for the past year.

"He's got a wild imagination," said Voelele. "As far as I know, no one is living there."

CBS5 attempted to speak to Mitchell at the Avondale home and at the vacant house in Litchfield Park but no one answered.

Mitchell recently released a statement that said he's lived in the Litchfield Park home since May 2012, has a driver's license registered to the address and has been renting the home in exchange for professional services to help remodel the place since Mitchell used to build and remodel homes.

And that has lead to another problem.

Mitchell's contractor's license expired in July 2010.

The Arizona Registrar of Contractors is now investigating whether Mitchell broke the law.

"The facts are very clear," said Ryan. "He doesn't live in the district, he's not a licensed contractor and he's trying to scam the system."

If Mitchell is taken off the November ballot, a judge can let the Republican Party name a replacement or the slot could be filled by a write-in candidate.

The court hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Thursday.

Copyright 2012 KPHO. (Meredith Corporation) All rights reserved.




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