Ballot Rumpus in Tucson Mayoral Race

TUCSON (CN) – A Tucsonan wants a candidate barred from the mayoral primary because he was convicted of assaulting a federal officer. He claims the would-be candidate skipped his sentencing hearing and never paid his $2,100 fine and court costs, either.

     Luke Knipe, a “duly qualified elector,” sued candidate Marshall Home and city and county election officials, demanding that Home, a Democrat, be stricken from the ballot for the Aug. 30 primary.
     According to the complaint in Pima County Court, Home was convicted in 2002 of felony assault on a federal officer, failed to appear at his sentencing hearing in July 2011 [sic], then was arrested and sent to prison for 10 months, in September 2011 [sic].
     “As a result of Home’s conviction and sentence, Home has lost his right to be a qualified elector and right to run for public office for the mayor of the City of Tucson,” the complaint states.
     “On information and belief, plaintiff alleges that Home’s right to run for public office has never been restored.”
     Knipe is represented by William Walker.
     Home, who last week filed a pro se complaint seeking removal of Jonathan Rothschild from the Democratic primary ballot, said in an interview Tuesday that he is contesting his conviction.
     He said three federal marshals attacked him in 2002 during a court hearing as he approached an attorney for a conversation. The conviction was “rammed through by a crooked judge,” Home said.
     “I never laid a hand on anybody,” Home said.
     In his complaint in Pima County Superior Court, he claims Rothschild, an attorney, cannot be mayor because Arizona law prohibits lawyers from holding office outside the judicial branch.
     “There can be no attorney legislators – no attorney mayors – no attorneys as police – no attorneys as governor,” Home’s complaint states. “Yes I know it happens all the time, however, this practice of multiple office holding by attorneys is prohibited by the constitution and is a felony in most states.”
     Home said he decided to run for mayor to take down Rothschild, a favorite among the local Democratic leadership. He also sued the Pima County Democratic Party and the city clerk.
     “When I saw that a lawyer was running to be mayor of my city, I said, no, I don’t want lawyers to be [mayor],” he said in the interview.

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