Judge dismisses former GOP House candidate’s lawsuit contesting November election

Josh Barnett || Ballotpedia

By Tara Kavaler || Arizona Republic

Josh Barnett placed third in the Aug. 2 GOP primary in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District.

A Maricopa County Superior Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a defeated primary congressional candidate to annul Arizona’s election results for governor, secretary of state and attorney general.

The lawsuit, filed by Josh Barnett, was one of several legal complaints filed by politicians seeking to challenge Arizona’s November election.

This challenge took a different approach. Barnett did not pursue his election complaint under normal election statutes, instead citing Arizona’s Uniform Declaratory Judgment Act.

Attorneys for the Secretary of State’s Office and Maricopa County Board of Supervisors argued that the complaint should be filed as an election contest and that it was premature to do so under Arizona law.

Judge Alison Bachus agreed, writing in her ruling Friday that the complaint could be refiled later under election statutes.

“As Plaintiff passionately argued, the heart of his Complaint is that the election was improperly conducted … Plaintiff must avail himself of the remedy provided to him by the Arizona Legislature: Title 16 of the Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS), Chapter 4, Article 13,” she wrote.

The part of the law Bachus is referring to involves contesting elections.

Barnett’s lawsuit got two hearings Friday. The Secretary of State’s Office initially asked for the lawsuit to be dismissed in the morning session, which was not granted.

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