CD2 Watch: Wooten criticized for registering as a Republican on Tuesday

2014-04-11T16:00:00Z 2014-06-13T13:50:33Z CD2 Watch: Wooten criticized for registering as a Republican on TuesdayBy Joe Ferguson and Tim Steller Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

It has been more than more than two months since retired veteran Chuck Wooten announced he would run for Congress.

The retired Air Force chief master sergeant - or more precisely, Wooten for Congress, filed with the federal commission last month as a Republican candidate in CD2.

As of Friday morning, however, Wooten had been a registered Republican in Pima County for about three days.

The campaign learned about the issue on Tuesday when Carolyn Cox, chair of the Pima County Republican Party, raised the issue during a Republican Party luncheon where Wooten was a featured speaker.

At time, Wooten was actually registered with Pima County as PND, Party Not Designated.

A spokesperson for the Wooten campaign, Dave Girton said the issue was a clerical error made several years ago by Motor Vehicle Division after he sold a vehicle.

On his blog, Wooten explained what happened:

"I was alerted that there was an issue with my personal voter registration in that there was no declared party. I took exception to the notion as I have been a Republican voter since returning from an assignment in Europe in 2007. I have voted the Republican ticket in every election held in my district since arriving in Tucson and plan to continue doing so," he wrote.

Wooten has said he has been assured by a "Pima County attorney" that he has broken no laws and the signatures he has already gathered (but not turned in) are valid. 

"Further, in consulting with a Pima County attorney, we learned it in NO WAY affects our State petition signatures we've collected to date as the signatures have not been submitted to the AZ Secretary of State," writes Wooten

(A representative for Pima County Attorney's Office notes no such meeting took place.)

Cox said it was important to note Wooten had been registered with no party affiliation for several years.

"It has tremendous effects, because the petition he passed around says he’s a Republican. So when people signed it, that’s what they thought," she said. "I just don’t think you should misrepresent yourself to your voters."

Wooten, arguing he is being targeted by Republicans months before the primary, concludes on his blog:

"The current issue is, there is no issue. Move along folks, nothing to see here." 

The retired veteran who briefly became an internet sensations late last year for sending off a fiery letter to Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) criticizing proposed cuts to veterans.

Last month, Wooten for Congress submitted FEC form 2, better known as a Statement of Candidacy, which is triggered when a candidate either receives contributions or make expenditures in excess of $5,000.

Contact reporter Joe Ferguson at jferguson@azstarnet.com or 573-4346. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFerguson

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

About this blog

The Arizona Daily Star's Pueblo Politics blog includes stories and related items from the Tucson and Pima County political scene written by Star reporters Becky Pallack and Joe Ferguson.

Have a political topic you would like to see in the blog or suggestions? Email Becky Pallack at bpallack@tucson.com and Joe Ferguson at jferguson@tucson.com

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