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Trusted local news leader for Kingman, Arizona & Mohave County
1:42 PM Wed, Nov. 21st

Challenge against Salem thrown out

KINGMAN - Tuesday's hearing also resolved a separate challenge Jones had made against Salem's petition, arguing that the mayor had also failed to collect a sufficient number of valid signatures.

Early on in the hearing, Sippel made a motion to strike Jones' challenge from the case due to the way Jones filed it.

Rather than submit a formal civil complaint against the mayor, Jones instead used the answer to Salem's complaint against him to challenge his signatures.

Sippel argued that the means of challenging a candidate's petition was a clearly defined procedure requiring a summons and a court-issued order to show cause, neither of which Jones had obtained. Sippel also noted that, in his complaint, Jones had only listed page numbers and signature lines without providing any rationale for why he thought the signatures were invalid.

Jones said he had not had time to issue a proper challenge against Salem, since he had had no intention to challenge the mayor until he himself was served with a challenge on Dec. 23, just hours before the deadline to file a legal challenge. Jones said he had scrambled to compare as many of Salem's signatures to the county election records as he could in the time allotted, writing down the lines of any signatures he saw that he "thought probably had to be challenged," though he confessed he had no time to catch individual names. "I did all I could do at the last minute," Jones said.

That apparently wasn't enough, however, with Jantzen agreeing that Jones had not followed the proper procedures as described in the Arizona Revised Statutes. While he was able to appreciate that Jones had not gone to law school and was representing himself, Jantzen said he also had to appreciate the established law.

"This is a case where these laws ... have been put into place because they want any challenges of a petition to follow certain guidelines so people know that, when they come to court, what is being done," he said.

Jantzen went on to note that he had actually rejected Salem's initial challenge against Jones for failure to comply with the law.

He then did the same to Jones, striking his challenge from the case.