Democratic attorney Jonathan Rothschild may be the only major-party candidate left standing in the mayoral race after today. Superior Court Judge Paul Tang bounced independent Pat Darcy from the ballot Monday after the Pima County Recorder's Office found he came up 106 signatures short on nominating petitions.
A short time later, Republican Shaun McClusky attempted to withdraw his nominating petitions before facing his own court challenge this afternoon, where Democrats will argue he didn't obtain a sufficient number of signatures to get on the ballot . . .
Darcy offered no court defense of his petitions, beyond noting there is a built-in disadvantage for independent candidates, who need far more signatures than party candidates. As an independent, Darcy needed 2,596 valid signatures. Republicans, meanwhile, needed 1,060 and Democrats needed 1,642.
He said he was dismayed the Democratic Party challenged him at all. "What are they afraid of?" he asked, saying that if the tables were reversed, he would have welcomed a contest rather than try to kick all of the challengers out of the race. "You want to compete. You don't want it just given to you," he said, adding it is a drain on the courts, as well as the city and county staffs.