Pat Darcy, formerly a Democrat, now an Independent, who filed to run for Mayor of the City of Tucson faced a legal challenge today in Superior Court as to the validity of his signatures on his nomination petitions. Judge Paul Tang ruled that Darcy failed to meet the requirements by being 106 signatures short, and granted the Motion for a Preliminary Injunction.
Darcy submitted 3,104 signatures to qualify to run as an Independent in the 2011 General Election. The minimum required for a Nomination Other than Primary (NOP)/Independent is 2596 signatures per the Tucson City Clerk’s office. Darcy could collect signatures from registered City voters “as long as they had not already signed a petition for another candidate running for the same office.”
I first reported on Darcy back in March when he was considering this bid as an Independent (click here).
Darcy only registered as an Independent on April 1, 2011, and took out paperwork with the City Clerk on Friday May 13, 2011 to run for Mayor. He has been registered as a Democrat since 1971 per Chris Roads (Deputy Recorder & Registrar of Voters) at the Pima County Recorder’s Office. Darcy is a realtor in Tucson with CB Richard Ellis and is best known as a former pitcher for the Major league Cincinnati Reds baseball team.
The motion for a preliminary injunction in the lawsuit was filed by Plaintiff citizen Sam Almy, reresented by attorney Bill Risner. 908 signatures submitted by Darcy were challenged and 614 were found invalid due to signatures by people not registered to vote (196), people who had signed previous Mayoral petitions (138), people not registered in the City of Tucson limits (277), and people indicating the wrong date of their signature (3). Therefore Darcy had only 2490 valid signatures, less than the 2596 required to be eligible as an Independent in the General Election 2011.
Darcy did take the stand in his defense today and said that the people of Tucson wanted “honest dialogue” which is why he was running as an Independent. He appeared at today’s hearing pro se, without an attorney.
Tomorrow’s court hearing is a similiar challenge regarding invalid signatures against Mayoral candidate Republican Shaun McClusky.