Opponent weighs in after Maricopa County candidate hasn’t withdrawn from race following arrest
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- It was a shocking arrest that shook up a race on the ballot — Republican Randy Kaufman was charged with public sexual indecency after masturbating in his truck on a college campus just feet away from a preschool. When the allegations became public, Kaufman suspended his campaign.
But his opponent in the race for college district board says that suspension was just talk, and for all practical purposes, he’s still in the race. By the time his arrest went public, ballots were printed with Kaufman’s name on them, and early voting had already begun.
However, Kaufman himself said he suspended his campaign and could take steps to make sure votes for him don’t count. The thing is: he hasn’t.
In a race for a college district governing board that should be focused on candidates and how they’d better the college system, the focus has, instead, been on masturbation. “It’s shocking. And it’s shocking to have this be. It’s unfortunate that this is what we’re talking about in this race,” said Kelli Butler.
Butler is a Democrat running for the Maricopa County Community College District Board against her opponent Kaufman, who was arrested for public sexual indecency earlier this month.
You can see in surveillance footage Kaufman pulls into a college parking lot in the district he’s running for, parks normally, then reparks his car horizontally. It’s then facing in the direction of a preschool with kids outside on the playground just feet away.
An officer approaches Kaufman to find him touching himself inside and watching porn. When the officer asked Kaufman what he saw outside, Kaufman said, “the child center but I didn’t notice it until you came up and I got out of my truck.”
Kaufman announced last week he was suspending his campaign. “The statement he made that he’s suspending his campaign is really meaningless,” said Butler. “He remains on the ballot and he remains eligible to win if he receives the most votes.”
The reason is that he still has not officially withdrawn from the race with the county recorder’s office, so any votes for him still count. Many assumed he would have withdrawn after announcing his campaign suspension.
On social media, the Republican Party (@AZGOP) has still been sharing what they call “the Golden Ticket,” which still promotes voting for Kaufman in the race. “We have seen photos on social media that they’re sharing with those and they have not removed of that golden ticket with him on that slate with every other Republican candidate,” said Butler.
Arizona’s Family asked the Arizona GOP why he hasn’t been removed. They told us the hard copies of the golden ticket were already printed with his name but that they have removed it from the digital copies of the golden ticket and told us:
This week we reached out to Kaufman countless times. We tried both by phone call and by text message asking for an interview or even just a statement about any plans to withdraw and, if not, why not, but he has not responded to any of our calls or texts with any explanation.
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