Arizona Republican drops re-election bid amid possible petition forgery investigation

(The Center Square) – Arizona Rep. Austin Smith withdrew his candidacy for re-election after a signature challenge alleged that some signatures on his nominating petition were forged.

“It seemed ludicrous because Republicans trying to get on the ballot don’t seek Democrat signatures and would have no reason to forge Democrat signatures since they don’t count,” he said in a statement on Thursday morning. “Nevertheless, it was something I took seriously because the coordinated attack included press releases and social media activity and other things that made it clear that this was a well-organized effort.”

“The recommendation I received most was that I bow out and live to fight another day. I might be confident of victory, but all it would take is a judge believing any one person, and all would be lost,” he continued.

The Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes’ office said allegations of forgery are automatically referred to
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