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Contested candidate qualifies for Green Party U.S. Senate primary

A judge ruled that Arturo Hernandez, a candidate running for U.S. Senate in Arizona’s Green Party primary, can stay on the ballot. 

The Arizona Green Party alleges both Hernandez and Mike Norton, another candidate in the primary, have no connections to the Green Party and are spoiler candidates backed by outside political interests.

Hernandez turned in over 2,300 signatures, substantially more than the 1,288 signatures he needed to qualify for the ballot.

But a candidate challenge alleged hundreds of those signatures should be thrown out, because they did not comply with state law.

Reports by county recorders invalidated nearly 950 signatures. A Maricopa County Superior Court judge threw out an additional 67 signatures, because a petition circulator did not list his current address on official documentation included with his petitions. 

That ruling left Hernandez with 1,340 valid signatures, 52 more than he needed to stay on the ballot alongside Norton.

Wayne Schutsky is a broadcast field correspondent covering Arizona politics on KJZZ. He has over a decade of experience as a journalist reporting on local communities in Arizona and the state Capitol.