La Paz County’s partisan primary election is Aug. 4. The Pioneer has learned there has been some confusion in the Republican race for District 2 Supervisor. Duce Minor, a Republican, is the incumbent. The other candidate is Jeff McCormick. The confusion comes from there being a resident in the upriver area named Jeff McCormack. The candidate on the ballot is not this person.
The Jeff McCormack from the upriver area is the owner of the Roadrunner Resort.
The Jeff McCormick on the ballot has since left the county to take a position in the town of Kearny, Ariz. However, county elections officials say there is little they can do to remove his name from the ballot.
McCormick is a former County Community Development Director who was dismissed earlier this year. He entered the race for District 2 Supervisor as a Republican, challenging Minor. He received enough valid signatures to have his name placed on the Aug. 4 primary ballot.
However, on April 20, McCormick was hired as Town Manager of Kearny, Ariz. According to the town council minutes on the town’s official website, he began his new duties May 4. His salary is $70,000 per year.
Minor learned of this and had looked into how McCormick’s name could stay on the ballot as he is no longer a resident of La Paz County and, therefore, no longer a qualified elector.
Arizona state law (ARS 16-351) allows for any elector to challenge the nominating petitions or signatures of any candidate. One of the grounds for challenging and disqualifying a candidate is residency. However, there is a limited time period to make these challenges. According to Secretary of State Katie Hobbs’ website, the deadline was 5 p.m. on April 20.
Kimmy Olsen of the La Paz County Elections Department said McCormick would need to contact them to have his name taken off the ballot.
“It’s up to him to resign his nomination,” Olsen said. “We have no recourse to take him off the ballot.”
Olsen added that, if McCormick wins, he’ll have to return to La Paz County if he wants the office.
Further confusion was added the weekend of July 24-26 when many residents of the Parker area and the upriver area received a campaign flyer from “The Campaign to Elect Jeff McCormick County Supervisor, District 2.” The flyer is very critical of Minor and the presumptive winner of the campaign for District 1 Supervisor, real estate agent David Plunkett. He is the only candidate for District 1 Supervisor after the incumbent, D.L. Wilson, announced he would not seek re-election.
The flyer had no address on it, but it said the postage was paid in Lake Havasu City. There is a website listed in the flyer, www.mccormickforlapaz.com. On that website, voters who have already cast their ballots are urged to contact the Elections Department if they want to change their vote for McCormick.
Olsen said there are two problems with this. First, the early ballots are kept at the Recorder’s Office. Second, once a ballot has been cast, that vote cannot be changed.
This was confirmed by County Recorder Richard Garcia.
“Once the ballot is cast, it’s a done deal,” he said.
The Pioneer has reached out by e-mail to McCormick, but, as of July 31, he has not responded.