Paul Penzone Campaign's Challenge to Mike Stauffer's Signatures Dropped

The campaign manager for independent Maricopa County Sheriff candidate Mike Stauffer says the challenge to Stauffer's nomination signatures has been dropped.

With the support of Democratic candidate Paul Penzone, plaintiff Lois Pfau filed the claim, alleging 12,726 of Stauffer's 29,794 submitted signatures were invalid, for various reasons.

Stauffer needed 19,410 valid signatures to secure his spot on the general election ballot in November, and the Stauffer camp says the Maricopa County Recorder's review leaves him well above the minimum to face off against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Many of the issues with the signatures in the complaint -- found here -- included things being printed on the wrong line on the forms.

In a statement, the Stauffer campaign says Penzone and the Dems were "taking a page directly from the Arpaio playbook" by challenging the signatures.

Common thought would be that Penzone would prefer that Stauffer not be in the race, in order to avoid a split of the anti-Arpaio votes.

On the other hand, it seems Stauffer's side thinks Penzone's pretty useless too.

Last week, Stauffer's campaign manager West Kenyon denied that thought on the candidate's Facebook page, supporting what's likely going to be a three-way race:

"Will a three-way race split the vote?" Absolutely not. Again the party system and the opponents who are owned by the party system want you to believe that too. A Democrat in this particular election year, for this particular office of Maricopa County Sheriff, stands little chance of being elected and collecting only a minimal number of votes. Based on statistics it isn't a three-way race. The race will be between Arpaio and Stauffer. To clarify, will the Democratic opponent collect votes? Absolutely, but only the votes that would not have gone to Arpaio or Stauffer in the first place, hence the vote is not going to be split.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley