An independent state Senate candidate accused of filing fraudulent petitions to get his name on the November ballot could get kicked out of the race.
A lawsuit filed Monday accuses several signature collectors working for Mark Syms of carrying out, "the most extensive and pervasive petition fraud scheme in recent Arizona history."
Syms is running in Arizona’s competitive Legislative District 28, which could determine whether Democrats or Republicans control the Senate.
Syms, who is married to Rep. Maria Syms, a Republican from Paradise Valley, filed more than 2,000 signatures.
However, the lawsuit alleges, "At least 914 putative signatures, representing 42% of all signatures presented on the Nominating Petition, are forgeries."
The suit was filed by Robert McGee, the husband of state Sen. Kate Brophy McGee, a Republican from Phoenix, who is running for re-election.
In his lawsuit, McGee is asking the state to boot Syms off the ballot because he did not file the "required number of valid signatures.”
After interviewing a small sample of people whose names appear on Syms' petitions, Arizona's Family found 10 signatures that appeared to be forged.
In addition, the Arizona Republic found more than 20 signatures that may have been forgeries.
Syms has said he did nothing wrong and blames the company hired to collect his signatures.
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