Appeals Court Lets LD13 Foreigner Darin Mitchell Stay on Ballot

LD 13 foreigner Darin Mitchell.
Legislative District 13 voters will be able to vote for state House candidate Darin Mitchell, despite the fact that a judge ruled he doesn't live in the district.

Mitchell, a Republican, decided to appeal the county superior court ruling ordering him off the ballot, and he ended up winning that battle.

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He didn't contest the part about not living in the district -- Mitchell's attorneys fought the order removing him from the ballot, apparently over petty procedural reasons.

A panel of appeals court judges let Mitchell stay on the ballot, and the state Supreme Court declined hearing the 11th-hour appeal of state Representative Russ Jones, who filed the lawsuit against Mitchell.

Since the ballots started printing last night, Mitchell's name will be on them.

Mitchell already got enough votes in the primary to land on general election ballots in Legislative District 13, along with his running mate, state Representative Steve Montenegro.

But one of Mitchell's alleged "neighbors" told the Arizona Capitol Times that she saw Mitchell claimed to live on her street in Litchfield Park, and she'd never seen him before, let alone anyone else living in the vacant house.

According to county property records, the house in question is owned by Theresa Koontz, who was later discovered to be the manager of Mitchell's campaign committee. She's also donated cash to Montenegro's campaign, according to campaign filings.

Mitchell even told media members that he actually lives with his girlfriend in Avondale, in Legislative District 19, but used both addresses in various filings with the Secretary of State's Office.

Jones, who missed the general election ballot after being bested by Mitchell in the primary, filed the lawsuit, and Mitchell was ordered off the ballot.

A county judge ruled that there was "clear and convincing evidence" Mitchell doesn't live in Legislative District 13, but the appeals court's ruling allows him to stay on the ballot.

What exactly Mitchell is trying to do isn't clear, since Arizona law's pretty clear that you have to live in a state legislative district to represent it.

Jones was actually selected by precinct committeemen to go on the empty spot on the ballot, but that's not happening.

The mess will continue thanks to Mitchell's appeal, as there are other issues that have been brought up in conjecture, including the possibility of criminal charges, IRS violations, and the thousands of bucks Mitchell got in Clean Elections funding, courtesy of taxpayers.

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Flyer9753 topcommenter

I don't understand why the Appeals court reversed this


So, JoeArpaioFan, what don't you understand about "illegal?"  It is illegal in Arizona to run for an office you do not live in.  And, if you lie about it, it is a Class 5 felony.  The Arizona Constitution mandates that each candidate must live in the district for which they seek office.  See Ariz. Const. Art. VII, Sec. 15 which states: "Qualifications for Office:  Every person elected or appointed to any elective office ... shall be a qualified elector of the political division or municipality in which such person shall be elected." My guess is you're one of those guys who spouts off about the sanctity of the constitution but does not have a clue as to what it actually says.  Your post proves that point.


It should make no difference where a candidate lives.

Flyer9753 topcommenter

 @tomryanlaw JAF only cares about illegal when it's someone who is brown and/or not a republicant


Which in and of itself is typical of the republicants  - they don't think the law applies to them, they are special


Short bus special

danzigsdaddy topcommenter

 @JoeArpaioFan yes  it should. the represntative of any area they hold office over should be there to understand that community and what the conditions you are bringing about will do. not arguing just explaining. would you want a president who lives in canada? no because his decisions would not be american decisions, rather they would be canada favorable ones. you are representing that community, you need to be a part of that community

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