Two of Three Democrats in Arizona Special Election Face Lawsuit

Both are running for the seat vacated by Trent Franks

Two Democrats running to replace former Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., are having their petition signatures challenged. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Lawsuits were filed against two Democrats running in Arizona’s 8th District’s special election on Thursday challenging the number of signatures on their petitions to get on the ballot.

Brianna Westbrook and Gene Scharer are both running in the special election to replace Rep. Trent Franks, who resigned last month after reports he offered a staffer money to carry his child.

The lawsuits said the two did not have enough petition signatures to be on the ballot.

But some of the ballots for the primary, which will be held on February 27, have already been mailed to military and overseas voters, ABC15 reported. The general election is scheduled for April 24.

There is a third Democrat also running in the primary, Dr. Hiral Tipirneni. The lawsuit filed by Democratic activist Lynda Vescio did not challenge Tipirneni’s signatures.

But Republicans in the race might also face complications as only two of the 12 candidates mentioned the end date of the term in their petitions, which is required by state law.

“You have a lawyer, perhaps more than one, working in the Secretary of State office who are specialists in election law, and they failed to change their form to make sure each candidate had the appropriate language,” said candidate Kevin Cavanaugh.

But it is unlikely many Republicans will face consequences as the deadline to file challenges against the candidates was 5 p.m. Thursday.

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