County OKs Orr petition signatures; suit is dropped

2014-06-16T00:00:00Z 2014-08-05T11:56:49Z County OKs Orr petition signatures; suit is droppedBy Joe Ferguson Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Last week was tough for state Rep. Ethan Orr. 

The freshman Republican was targeted for defeat as part of a blacklist created by fellow Republican Frank Antenori, stepped down from the nonprofit he worked at for a decade and faced a lawsuit seeking to throw him off the ballot.

This week starts with some good news.

An attorney representing the Pima County Democratic Party said over the weekend that he is withdrawing the lawsuit.

Local attorney Jeff Rogers conceded the freshman District 9 Republican has the legal minimum of signatures necessary to qualify as a candidate. The decision follows an independent count by the Pima County Recorder’s Office, which ruled on Friday that Orr had enough valid signatures to run as candidate in the LD9 race. Rogers said he disagrees with the county over the actual number of valid signatures but acknowledges Orr has enough to run.

“Despite throwing out over 240 invalid signatures, Orr may in fact meet the bare-minimum requirement to qualify for the ballot,” Rogers said. “The Pima County Democratic Party will withdraw our petition challenge and focus on defeating Orr in the General Election.”

Rogers said Orr is still facing stiff competition from Democrats in the LD9 race for the two House seats.

“We are confident that voters will choose Victoria Steele and Dr. Randy Friese to represent them in November,” Rogers said. 

Orr called the lawsuit “frivolous” and said it “should never have been filed in the first place.”

“I hope that my opponents will reimburse the taxpayers for the efforts the Pima County Recorders Office went through to disprove these attacks,” Orr said.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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