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Arizona Supreme Court says Phoenix candidate who rented house to run can stay in race

The Arizona Supreme Court has ruled a candidate who rented a house in Ahwatukee solely to run for Phoenix City Councilcan stay on the ballot.

Moses Sanchez’s attorney argued his opponent Kevin Robinson violated what’s known as the "family rule." State law defines a person’s residence as where the person’s family lives.

Robinson’s wife lives in their Scottsdale home but because he testified they plan to buy a home in District 6 and live together, the court said the "family rule" doesn’t apply.

The high court upheld a trial court ruling that Robinson is a resident by citing the same reasons: he registered to vote there, listed his Ahwatukee address with the Motor Vehicle Division, took out a one-year lease and renter’s insurance, keeps clothes and food there, sleeps there, and intends to stay.

The ruling reads:

"In sum, despite the “family rule,” the trial court did not abuse its discretion in finding that Appellee is a resident of District 6 based on his physical presence there combined with his intent to remain."

Sanchez appealed the lower court ruling from Judge M. Scott McCoy after learning McCoy’s wife supported Robinson by signing his nomination petition. His attorney asked the Arizona Supreme Court to hear the case fresh, with no deference to the lower court’s decision but the high court declined.

As a senior field correspondent, Christina Estes focuses on stories that impact our economy, your wallet and public policy.