Democrats call for Ariz. lawmaker to resign

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Rep. Daniel Patterson By Jennifer Thomas Rep. Daniel Patterson By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- House Democrats are calling for the resignation of Tucson Democratic Representative Daniel Patterson amid allegations of domestic violence by his ex-girlfriend.

Georgette Escobar, a Tucson attorney who worked as Patterson's campaign manager, told The Arizona Guardian that after a heated break-up on Friday night, Patterson grabbed her and pulled her out of her car and then threw her to the ground.

Escobar filed a restraining order against Patterson in Tucson City Court.

"Daniel grabbed me and ripped me out of the vehicle, threw me onto the ground and started bending back my fingers," Escobar said.

Patterson tweeted Monday: "Allegations are lies from person w bad mental problems & violent criminal history trying to blackmail me. I will not resign."

He denied hurting Escobar and said he is the one who called police.

"It's very apparent from what I've seen and heard over the past 24 hours ... that Mr. Patterson is going to be overwhelmed with a lot of personal issues that are going to take away from his ability to serve down here," said fellow Democrat, House Minority Leader Chad Campbell.

Campbell was among 17 Democrats to sign a letter calling for an ethics investigation into the allegations.

Patterson and the two Democrats on the Ethics Committee were the only House Democrats not to sign the letter.

"I'm not going to be bullied out of office by political bosses in Phoenix. I represent my constituents in Tucson period, and I'm not going to be blackmailed out of office," Patterson said.

"Frankly, if Rep. Patterson was most concerned with serving the people of his district he would be here today on the House floor like other representatives and senators are," Senate Minority Leader David Schapira said.