McSally campaign loses in court, ignores Kais, Wooten challenges to debate issuesTUCSON, Ariz., June 18, 2014 — GOP primary candidate Chuck Wooten beat the GOP establishment favorite Martha McSally campaign in court. McSally campaign staffers Shaun “Captain Chaos” McClusky and Lori Dzuban-Orien filed a suit in a Pima County Superior Court challenging Wooten’s eligibility. McSally, Wooten, and Shelly Kais face-off for the GOP nomination to run against incumbent Ron Barber (D) in Arizona’s second congressional district (CD2).
Judge Gus Aragon ruled against McClusky and Dzuban. The McSally staffer’s argued that Wooten did not have adequate qualifying signatures on his candidacy petition. Aragon examined the evidence and dismissed the McSally campaign’s case. Aragon took less than 20 minutes in deciding to dismiss.
“Captain Chaos” McClusky lost a similar lawsuit in 2011 when he failed to garner enough signatures to qualify for his failed mayoral candidacy.
Chuck Wooten responded to the court decision saying:
I’m obviously delighted with the outcome of today’s proceedings. It was the only outcome that could have happened, based on my opponents failed attempt to re-write State law. But I’m also equally disappointed in the McSally camp’s cavalier waste of precious taxpayer dollars. The State of Arizona, both Pima and Cochise County personnel were needed to be involved in this frivolity and it was totally unnecessary. The political gain my opponents expected did not happen and the entire affair resulted in a colossal waste. I suppose this behavior is what citizens of CD2 can expect if she were to be elected–wasting precious government money and other resources for strictly personal gain. I hope the voters pay attention to this. I believe the voters have a right to know the truth behind this baseless attack and Ms. McSally should come clean and admit she was behind the suit and apologize to our taxpayers for wasting their money.Wooten issued challenges to both McSally and Kais for public debates. Checking the Pima County calender, Pima County GOP officials have not scheduled any debates prior to the primary, whose early voting period begins on July 31, 2014. Kais previously challenged both Wooten and McSally to debates. However, only Wooten accepted the challenge.
I’m also appalled and deeply disappointed in my opponents who chose to take this path in attempting to discredit me and challenge my integrity in the signature gathering process. As a Chief Master Sergeant, I am held to a much higher standard and today’s outcome is a direct reflection of the truth as it’s applied to our law. Should both my opponents desire to drop the Chicago-style antics worthy of the Obama administration, I will gladly meet them in a debate on the issues. Political garbage, such as this lawsuit is precisely what the people of District 2 are fed up with…and so am I. Onward and upward.
McSally’s refusal to debate comes just after local reporters complained McSally evades questions on most issues, preferring to hype her prior career as an Air Force pilot. Wooten also claims that some attending McSally’s fundraising events reported similar frustrations. In contrast, local reporters refer to Wooten’s campaign as more open and transparent.
Some pundits suggest McSally is refusing to debate in fear of losing her already shrinking lead. Others allege the Pima County GOP is showing favoritism toward McSally, who lost two previous races for the same congressional seat. Her first loss was to former US Marine Jesse Kelly in the GOP primary. Later, she garnered the nomination but lost to Gabrielle Giffords’s protege Ron Barber.
Arizona’s CD2 includes all of Cochise County, which houses Tombstone, Bisbee, Sierra Vista, and Fort Huachuca, as well as parts of Pima County, which houses Tucson and Davis-Mothan Air Force Base.