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Former Arizona Rep. David Stringer, Who Resigned Amid Allegations Of Sex Crimes Against Children, Running For Office Again

Former state lawmaker David Stringer is running for office again in Yavapai County. Stringer resigned from the Arizona House of Representatives in 2019 after allegations of paying young boys for sex in 1983 came to light. He announced plans to challenge incumbent Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk, who was elected in 2000.

"It is time to bring the criminal justice system in Yavapai County into the 21st century, and recognize that today’s criminal is often better equipped and more ruthless than the criminals of years gone by," Stringer's announcement said. "If we are going to keep you safe, we need to start doing a better and smarter job."

Court records from Maryland obtained by the Phoenix New Times show Stringer pleaded guilty to three sex offenses in 1983 — but that his records would be expunged if he successfully completed a five-year probation.

In his statement, Stringer calls the allegations "fake news and tabloid journalism about those false charges."

The revelation of these charges eventually led to his resignation from the Arizona House of Representatives.

"Rep. Stringer may have fulfilled the legal consequences of his actions, but I believe that charges of this nature cast a shadow over the entire Legislature and his ability to be an effective legislator,'' House Speaker Russell "Rusty" Bowers (R-Mesa), said in a prepared statement at the time.

Pollster and political analyst Mike O’Neil says Stringer’s run for Yavapai County attorney is unprecedented, given the nature of the allegations.

“This is the kind of situation where somebody usually crawls into a hole and is never heard from again," O'Neil said. "Clearly David Stringer is looking for another turn in the limelight ... I don’t know of anybody else who has had the audacity or the capacity to pull something off at this level. Somebody with this kind of a record usually just goes away and is never heard from again.”

Stringer will need to gather enough signatures to qualify for the Aug. 4 Republican primary.

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Scott Bourque was a reporter and podcast producer at KJZZ from 2019 to 2022.