PHOENIX — Boyd Dunn has been knocked off the ballot in his bid for another term on the Arizona Corporation Commission.
On Wednesday, the Arizona Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that Dunn, a Republican, did not submit sufficient valid signatures on his nominating papers. A campaign worker admitted in court that she forged some 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 election.
They include Lea Marquez Peterson, who was appointed to the commission last year by Gov. Doug Ducey following a resignation. Also in the hunt are Eric Sloan and Kim Owens.
But the departure of a high-profile Republican like Dunn, first elected in 2016, could increase the chances of Democrats running for the commission, which sets the rates charged by investor-owned utilities like Arizona Public Service and Tucson Electric.
The GOP bench was narrowed last month when state Sen. David Farnsworth of Mesa, seeking a shot at the commission, dropped out because of challenges to his petition signatures. Republican Nick Myers also was removed from the ballot.
Sandra Kennedy is the sole Democrat on the commission. Her term is not up for another two years.
Three Democrats are running this year: Bill Mundell, who previously served for a decade on the commission as a Republican; Anna Tovar, who is mayor of Tolleson; and Shea Stanfield.