Ex-mayor loses Corporation Commission bid The Chandler Arizonan

Ex-mayor loses Corporation Commission bid

Ex-mayor loses Corporation Commission bid
City News

By Howard Fischer
Capitol Media Services

Boyd Dunn has been knocked off the ballot in his bid for another term on the Arizona Corporation Commissioner.

In a brief order Wednesday, the Arizona Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that Dunn, a Republican who served as Chandler’s mayor from 2002-11, did not submit sufficient valid signatures on his nominating papers. That came after a campaign worker admitted in court that she had forged some of the names.

With 166 of the signatures submitted eliminated, that left Dunn 92 names short of what he needed to qualify for the GOP primary.

The elimination of Dunn still leaves three Republicans vying for the three seats up for grabs.

That includes Lea Marquez Peterson who was appointed to the utility regulatory panel last year by Gov. Doug Ducey following the resignation of fellow Republican Andy Tobin. Also in the hunt are Eric Sloan and and Kim Owens.

But the departure of a high-profile Republican like Dunn, first elected in 2016, could increase the chances of the Democrats capturing one or more of the open seats on the commission that sets the rates charged by investor-owned utilities like Arizona Public Service and Tucson Electric.

The GOP bench was narrowed last month when Sen. David Farnsworth, R-Mesa, seeking a shot at the commission, dropped out because of challenges to his own petition signatures. Republican Nick Myers also was removed from the ballot.

And Peterson, despite her incumbent status, has only a limited record of running for public office. She became the Republican candidate for Congress in CD 2 in 2018 before losing the general election to Ann Kirkpatrick.

At the moment, Sandra Kennedy is the sole Democrat on the commission. Her term is not up for another two years.

Three Democrats are running, two with elective experience: Bill Mundell, who actually served for a decade on the commission as a Republican until 2009, and Anna Tovar, a former state lawmaker who currently is mayor of Tolleson.

Also running as a Democrat is Shea Stanfield.

In seeking to overturn the trial court order, Dunn argued that his due process rights to defend himself were violated.    But Chief Justice Robert Brutinel, writing for the four justices who head the case, rejected that contention.

“The candidate had timely and proper notice of each challenge to each signature as required by (election law),’’ Brutinel wrote.

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