PHOENIX (CN) – Republican gubernatorial hopeful Buz Mills, whose self-funded campaign lags far behind Gov. Jan Brewer in the polls, wants to have another candidate thrown off the state’s primary ballot. Mills claims Tom Gordon failed to get enough signatures in two counties. The primary will be held in August.
In his complaint in Maricopa County Court, Mills claims that for a candidate to qualify for the ballot, nomination petitions must be filed with signatures from “at least one-half of one percent of the voter registration of the party of the candidate in at least three counties in the state.”
Mills says that Gordon, of Mesa, filed 7,693 signatures, and designated Gila and Coconino Counties “as two of the three necessary qualifying counties.”
Mills claims Gordon submitted 61 signatures from Gila County, and 143 from Coconino County, but only 21 from Gila and 64 from Coconino were qualified voters. Gordon needed at least 55 signatures from Gila County and 90 signatures from Coconino County to qualify for the ballot.
The U.S. Supreme Court this week blocked Arizona from giving matching funds to state candidates who agreed to take public financing. The ruling limited publicly funded candidates – Gov. Brewer and state Treasurer Dean Martin – to the $707,440 they have received for the primary.
Mills, a wealthy Yavapai County businessman who is financing his own campaign, has already spent close to $2.3 million – more than 3 times the amount allowed to Brewer – according to the Arizona Daily Sun.
On May 20, the Rasmussen Reports poll reported Brewer far in the lead, favored by 45 percent of likely voters, followed by Martin and Mills, both with 18 percent.
Mills sued Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett and all of the Arizona boards of supervisors and county recorders.
Other plaintiffs have filed similar complaints against Republican gubernatorial hopefuls Joe Penalosa, John Kowalski, Anna Brennan, William Wallace, and Tommy Sanchez.
Mills is represented by David Cantelme with Cantelme & Brown.