TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - A challenge has been filed to stop Tucson from potentially becoming Arizona’s first sanctuary city.
A complaint filed by several plaintiffs, with the support of the Pima County Republican Party, in Superior Court claims the number of signatures required was too low. The complaint cites state law would require 12,821 valid signatures instead of the current threshold, which is 9,241.
Volunteers with the local GOP will be challenging individual signatures line-by-line, according to Chairman David Eppihimer. He said it would drop the valid total below that of the state-supported threshold mentioned in the complaint.
The qualifications of some signature collectors will also be questioned as the party believes some of the petitions were incomplete, making them invalid.
Below is the press release from the Pima County Republican Party before the paperwork was submitted:
Pima County Republican Party Files to Challenge Sanctuary City Petition
The Pima County Republican Party is assisting Tucson resident, Benny White, in challenging the City of Tucson to prevent it from becoming a sanctuary city. Republicans believe the formulation to determine the minimum number of petition signatures required was calculated incorrectly and must be raised to a minimum of 12,400 versus the 9,241 originally required. Tucson Families Free and Together submitted approximately 18 thousand signatures in early July. In addition, Pima County Republicans believe approximately 40 percent of the signatures submitted are either invalid or fraudulent.
If the number of signatures required for the measure to be placed on the ballot is definitively more than initially determined and 40 percent of signatures are found to be either fraudulent or invalid, it may prevent a change to the city charter and the resulting loss of state and federal funds for Tucson.
Included in this story is a copy of the complete, 82-page filing in Pima County Superior Court. Eppihimer noted Sunday that an updated version will be submitted shortly to correct plaintiff Ann Hollis’ name.