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Legislative District 18’s only Independent candidate, Scott Ryan, has removed from the November ballot.

The Maricopa County Recorder’s Office found that 678 of the 1863 signatures Ryan submitted to be nominated for the ballot were invalid, leaving him 245 short of what he needed to be on the ballot.

“It’s disappointing,” Ryan said after Judge Douglas Gerlach made his ruling. “It’s especially disappointing because we don’t know where this challenge is coming from.”

Ryan said his campaign has received some criticism from local Democrats, but he’s also heard rumors that Republicans were financing the challenge. The plaintiff in the case was Dimitra Lix, who has worked for the Maricopa County Democratic Party.

Lix’s attorneys challenged Ryan’s nominating signatures for two reasons: there were not enough valid signatures and a majority of Ryan’s nomination petitions did not specifically state the district he was running in.

The only witness called during the Thursday, June 19 trial was Angela Rios of the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office. Rios stated that according to her review of the signatures two people had registered after they signed the petition, 346 people that signed the petition did not reside in the district at the time they signed, 311 were not registered at the time of signing, 16 had an invalid date written and three had no address written. Based on the number of invalid signatures alone, Gerlach ruled Ryan will not appear on the ballot.

Ryan said he was not given the county recorder’s report until hours before the trial. He plans to review the signatures and the report himself and, if possible, will appeal the judge’s decision.

Ryan didn’t hire any paid petition gatherers to get his signatures, but has been canvassing the district on his own with the help of volunteers. He was the only Independent running for the House in Legislative District 18.

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