Former Arizona Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick does live in Tucson, a judge ruled Tuesday in a lawsuit challenging her residency in the 2nd District. The lawsuit, financed by one of her Democratic primary opponents, had attempted to remove her from the primary ballot.
Former state Rep. Matt Heinz, the losing 2016 Democratic nominee for the seat, helped fund the lawsuit that alleged Kirkpatrick falsely claimed in campaign documents that she lived in Tucson. Candidates are not required to live in the districts they are running in, but the plaintiffs alleged Kirkpatrick violated state law that required candidates to accurately reflect their residency on nominating papers.
It was not immediately clear whether the plaintiffs, who include three Arizona voters, would appeal the ruling.
Kirkpatrick was questioned on the witness stand about her residency. She said she does not live in Phoenix where her husband lives, and that she moved to Tucson last year, the Arizona Capitol Times reported.
The former congresswoman previously served three terms in the House, representing the 1st District that covers nearly two-thirds of Arizona from the Utah border to just north of Tucson.
Kirkpatrick and Heinz continued to trade barbs following Tuesday’s ruling.
“It is clear that Ann will say anything, anytime, anywhere, and to anyone if it will advance her political career,” Heinz campaign manager Brian Robinson said in a statement. “Southern Arizona deserves better.”
Kirkpatrick spokesman Rodd McLeod said “all doubts have been put to rest” following the judge’s ruling.
“This is Mr. Heinz’s third campaign for Congress, and each one has been marked by dirty tricks, false attacks and failure,” McLeod said.
Heinz lost to GOP Rep. Martha McSally by 14 points in 2016. He also lost a bid for the seat in 2012.