Ariz. Dems: Republicans running ringers

Aug. 31, 2010 at 2:46 PM

PHOENIX, Aug. 31 (UPI) -- The Arizona Democratic Party has accused Republican rivals of running Green Party ringers in some competitive races in an effort to siphon off votes.

An election fraud complaint filed Monday charges Rep. Jim Weiers, R-Ariz., Steve May, who is running for the state Legislature, and a Republican aide have worked to recruit candidates to run as Green candidates, The Arizona Republic reports. Candidates were able to get on the ballot for November as Greens by receiving only one write-in vote.

The Arizona Green Party has said it does not support the candidates. One, Chris Campbell, a roommate of one of Weiers's daughters, only recently changed his registration from Republican to Green and is now a candidate for state Senate.

The candidates are running for several state offices and in legislative districts Democrats believe are competitive.

"The evidence is compelling, and it shows an utter disregard for the voters of Arizona," said Jennifer Johnson, a Democratic spokeswoman.

Weiers acknowledged discussing his run with Campbell but denied recruiting him as a candidate. He said Democrats are being "cynical."

"If somebody wants to do it, there's nothing illegal about it. There's nothing immoral," he said of Campbell's change of party.

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