Democrats: Shooter lives outside district
Senator: 'I'm legal as apple pie'
Sen. Don Shooter, R-Yuma, is “pulling a Darin Mitchell” and not living in the district he represents, according to an Arizona Democratic Party official.
Party spokesman Frank Camacho said Shooter doesn't live in District 13, which he represents, and the Democrats are hoping to disqualify him from the election.
“We believe Don Shooter is not a legal resident of District 13 and we are reviewing all our options to determine what we should or could do. We will try to disqualify Shooter from the General Election ballot,” Camacho said.
However, Shooter denied the Democrats' accusation. “They're full of crap,” he said. “I'm legal as apple pie.”
In April, Shooter announced plans to move a half mile north to run for re-election in a Republican-leaning district. After the Independent Redistricting Commission split Yuma, Shooter ended up in the southern part of the city, in the new District 4, which is dominated by Democrats.
Shooter said he would keep his current residence in southern Yuma but would rent an apartment in northern Yuma, which is in the new Legislative District 13, for a chance to keep his state Senate seat.
The Arizona Constitution requires lawmakers, before running for office, to live in Arizona for three years, within their counties for one year and in their respective districts at the time they run for office.
Camacho claims Shooter spends most of his time at the family residence on West 17th Place, and not at the condominium he rented on Palo Verde Lane.
“His car is always parked at the home (on 17th Place). His car was parked there all weekend,” he said.
But Shooter insists that he is living in the rented condo. “I live there, I sleep there.”
“It's nobody's business where I live,” as long as it's in the district he represents, he said, but he welcomes anyone who wants to “come and check” his residence.
Shooter said he was aware that the Democrats have been following him. “People are going through my garbage. It's a dirty business. I resent it, but I'm a public person so I put up with it.”
Camacho pointed out that Shooter's landlord never filed a rental affidavit, allegedly proving the senator doesn't live there.
“He supposedly moved (to the condo), but a landlord is supposed to fill out a rental affidavit with the Yuma Assessor's Office and it's never been filed,” Camacho said.
Landlords – not tenants – are required to file affidavits, as outlined in Arizona Statutes 33-1902 subsections A and B, according to County Assessor Joe Wehrle.
In this case, “if (the landlord) is renting to Mr. Shooter, he has not filed the rental affidavit that is required,” Wehrle said.
He noted that the condo reportedly being rented by Shooter is owned by an Idaho resident. “We have no rental affidavit for him,” Wehrle said, adding that the property is currently not classified as a rental property.
Shooter also struck down rumors that he moved to the Phoenix area because his wife got a job there. His wife is still teaching at the same school she has taught for the last 15 years, he said.
Mara Knaub can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (928) 539-6856.