Arizona court deferred to judge on election ruling

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX (AP) -- The Arizona Supreme Court says it deferred to a judge's findings in ruling that a Republican challenger to a prominent legislator could stay on the ballot though the challenger's nominating petitions included forged signatures.

The court on Tuesday issued an opinion explaining its June order that kept Toby Farmer of Buckeye on the primary election ballot for the Senate seat now held by Senate Appropriations Chairman Don Shooter of Yuma.

The Supreme Court said it's up to trial judges to rule on facts and weigh evidence in cases and that there's no clear indication the judge's findings were erroneous.

The judge found seven signatures on Farmer's petitions were forged and that Farmer collected them and signed the petitions. But the judge ruled Shooter didn't prove that Farmer knew about forgeries.

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