Judge mulls whether to keep Kirkpatrick’s name off ballot

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Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., speaks to supporters during an election night party, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016, in Phoenix. (Source: AP Photo/Matt York) Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., speaks to supporters during an election night party, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016, in Phoenix. (Source: AP Photo/Matt York)
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PHOENIX (AP) -

A judge is being asked to kick a Democratic congressional candidate off the Aug. 28 primary ballot because opponents say she filed false information about where she lives.

A lawsuit filed by three Arizona voters doesn’t challenge Ann Kirkpatrick’s residency itself because the law says she merely has to be a state resident and not live in the district where she is running. Instead, they argue Kirkpatrick broke a campaign law by providing false information on campaign documents.

[RELATED: Hearing set in suit challenging Ann Kirkpatrick’s residency]

They say she falsely stated on records that she lived in an apartment in Tucson, when she actually resides in a condo in downtown Phoenix.

Lawyers for Kirkpatrick have asked a judge to dismiss the lawsuit, saying their client has lived in Tucson since April 2017. They say she rents an apartment in Tucson and occasionally spends time at her home in Phoenix. The cities are about 110 miles (177 kilometers) apart.

Her attorneys contend any discrepancy about Kirkpatrick’s address on campaign documents doesn’t disqualify her from running for the office.

Craig Morgan, one of the attorneys seeking to keep Kirkpatrick off the ballot, said it’s unacceptable to provide false information on nominating petition documents. “It has to be accurate,” he said.

Kirkpatrick attorney Daniel Arellano said the U.S. Constitution bars kicking his client off the ballot based on where she lives.

Arellano said the question is whether the information on Kirkpatrick’s election documents causes confusion for voters.

“Here, there is no issue of confusion,” Arellano said.

[RELATED: Ex-lawmaker Kirkpatrick running for McSally's House seat]

Kirkpatrick was confronted by an opposing attorney about some of her nominating petitions, which included a Tucson address where she lived prior to moving to her current apartment.

“I don’t know where these petitions came from or who was circulating them,” Kirkpatrick said.

She said she registered to vote in Pima County a month after moving to Tucson and cast a ballot in Tucson municipal elections.

Superior Court Judge Joshua Rogers said he intends to issue a ruling on Tuesday.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Arizona Politics]

Kirkpatrick is a former member of Congress. She gave up her seat representing northeastern Arizona in 2016 to make an unsuccessful challenge to Republican Sen. John McCain.

[RELATED: Former Rep. Gabby Giffords backing Kirkpatrick]

The 2nd District where she is now seeking to run includes part of the Tucson area as well as Cochise County in the state’s southeastern corner. The Democratic field includes former state Reps. Bruce Wheeler and Matt Heinz.

Last week a judge ruled that former state Rep. Don Shooter can run for the state Senate because he is still a resident of the district he wants to represent. Shooter is the first state lawmaker in the United States to be ousted over sexual misconduct allegations after the rise of the #MeToo movement.

[READ MORE: Judge: Expelled Arizona lawmaker Don Shooter can run for state House]

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