Confusion over candidate leaves citizens in limbo
Can the Legislative District 13 candidate situation get any more confusing?
Well, yes, it turns out it may get more confusing in the coming weeks and possibly months.
Readers following this ongoing saga know that Darin Mitchell ran for and was one of two people elected to the State House in the recent Primary Election. As the third highest vote getter for the LD 13 seat, Russ Jones of Yuma lost out in the race - or did he?
It turns out Mitchell may not actually live in the district which includes parts of Yuma County and Maricopa County in a large swath of the state making up the district. His residence is listed as being in the Litchfield Park area in the district, but Jones filed suit challenging his actual residency there and seeking to have him removed from the upcoming General Election ballot. It is reported Mitchell really lives in another legislative district.
From that point the issue has become more and more convoluted as the dispute has moved through the court system being resolved and then unresolved. As it stands now, Mitchell will be on the ballot, but votes for him may not be counted if the courts decide he is not a legitimate candidate.
There is also speculation the Legislature might refuse to seat him or maybe there would be some other form of legal challenge to come in the future for the disputed candidate.
In short, no one knows for sure what is going to happen to that seat. It leaves north Yuma County residents and other residents in the district unsure of exactly who may represent them when the Legislature convenes in January.
Right now the legal debate seems to be hung up over a technicality - was Mitchell properly notified of the challenge?
In our view, that should not be the issue. There is only one true issue. Does Mitchell live in the district or not?
If not, then he should be denied any possibility of representing the district. Then he should face any potential legal consequences for his actions.