A former Democrat congresswoman from Arizona is making another run at representing her state in the House of Representatives, but a legal wrench was just thrown into her political plans.
Democrat House candidate Ann Kirkpatrick is facing a lawsuit that could remove her name from the ballot over allegations that she provided false information to election officials with regard to her true place of residence in the state.
According to the Washington Free Beacon, Kirkpatrick was first elected to represent Arizona’s first district in 2009, but was voted out of office by the tea party wave in 2010. She ran again and reclaimed her seat in 2012 and 2014, but gave it up again to unsuccessfully challenge Sen. John McCain for his seat in 2016.
Now she is running for Congress once again, only this time in the state’s second district, where she has claimed a residence in the city of Tucson.
Except the lawsuit that has been filed by voters on behalf of Kirkpatrick’s primary opponent, Matt Heinz, alleges that Kirkpatrick doesn’t live in Tucson or the second district at all, but actually still lives in a condo in the first district city of Phoenix.
It is worth noting that the law doesn’t prohibit individuals from running to represent a district they don’t live in — though voters tend to disapprove — but there are laws that require candidates provide accurate and truthful information to election officials, which the lawsuit claims Kirkpatrick has failed to do.
A court hearing on Monday resulted in Kirkpatrick admitting that she doesn’t pay any rent on at least one of the two Tucson addresses where she has claimed to have lived, and it was also revealed she only maintains insurance coverage on property located in Flagstaff and Phoenix, but not Tucson.
Furthermore, pictures of the interior of a closet at a Tucson home claimed by Kirkpatrick showed a decided lack of clothing, to which the candidate had glibly replied, “I don’t wear a lot of clothes.”
Kirkpatrick’s attorney, Daniel Arellano, argued that no definitive proof has been provided to show that his client doesn’t reside in Tucson, and added that even if such proof were revealed, it still would provide no legal basis for her to be removed from the ballot.
The attorney may have a point that there is no law preventing Kirkpatrick from running for election in a district where she doesn’t even live.
However, most voters prefer their representative actually live within the district they are representing, and election officials certainly prefer candidates provide them with accurate and truthful information with regard to their residency.
It remains to be seen if Kirkpatrick will survive this challenge against her residency and name on the ballot, or if voters will weigh in and decide for themselves whether they believe Kirkpatrick’s disputed residency claims or not.