Former State Representative David Stringer, who resigned from office last year over revelations that he was arrested in the 1980s on suspicion of sexually assaulting children, has filed his candidacy for Yavapai County Attorney.
Stringer announced his run for Yavapai County's top prosecutor gig on Friday. In a Facebook post, the Prescott Republican said he supports criminal justice reform and criticized Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk for a record of aggressively prosecuting low-level offenders. Polk is also a Republican, so they would face off in the state's August 4 primary election.
Polk, who was first elected in 2000 and is now serving her fifth term in office, has been a staunch opponent of cannabis consumers. Her office has successfully prosecuted medical marijuana patients for possessing marijuana and convicted people for possessing CBD products. She ran uncontested in the 2016 election. But her new opponent brings serious baggage to the race.
In his campaign announcement, Stringer repeated denials of charges he faced for allegedly molesting underage boys, including an intellectually disabled teenager, when he lived in Baltimore in 1983.
"There has been a lot of fake news and tabloid journalism about those false charges, even from otherwise reputable journalists who should know better," Stringer wrote.
Stringer did not return a voicemail seeking comment.
New Times first revealed Stringer's Maryland case history a year ago, leading to an investigation ordered by the Arizona House Ethics Committee that turned up records detailing the circumstances of his arrest.
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Following his 1983 arrest, a Maryland court entered a judgment of guilt for Stringer on a combination of sex charges, sentencing him to five years of probation and ordering him to seek treatment at a well-known clinic for sex offenders, according to the case history obtained by New Times.
He resigned from office in March after refusing to comply with a subpoena for legal documents ordered by his Republican colleagues.
Before the revelation of his old arrest, Stringer had already faced bipartisan calls for his resignation over a series of racist comments he made, including a remark that there "aren't enough white kids to go around" in Arizona public schools and that African-Americans "don't blend in."
Stringer's announcement states that he is gathering signatures to qualify for the August 4 ballot.