Write-in candidates must file with Pima County by Thursday

Any candidate who wants to run a write-in campaign in this summer’s primary election must register with the Pima County Elections Department by the end of the day Thursday.

While write-in campaigns are generally long-shot efforts, one Pima County race for constable had zero candidates running at all until last week.

Although Pima County Elections officials told the Tucson Sentinel on Monday that no write-in candidates had filed, the county’s own online records show that Gerard Acuña — who withdrew from a different race for constable — filed to run in Justice Precinct 9 last Monday.

The incumbent constable, Democrat George Camacho, was kicked off the ballot after a judge ruled he didn’t have sufficient valid signatures on his nominating petitions. He would not have faced any opponent in the primary, and barring any Republican write-in, would have faced no GOP opponent in November.

Acuña had filed to run in JP4 on the West Side, but withdrew from that race on April 4 before his nominating petitions were reviewed. On June 10, he filed as a write-in for JP9. Thus far, he’s the sole write-in candidate to file for the primary.

Because there are no candidates on the ballot, a write-in candidate must receive enough votes to equal or exceed the number of signatures required on nominating petitions in order to have their name listed on the Nov. 5 ballot. In the case of Justice Precinct 9, which is on Tucson’s South Side, a Democrat would have to capture a minimum 492 votes and a Republican would have to capture a minimum of 270.

Constables are charged with delivering court papers such as eviction notices and orders of protection. The dangers of the job were evident when Constable Deborah Martinez was shot and killed in August 2022 in the process of an eviction.

Learn more about filing as a write-in candidate at the Pima County Elections Department website.

Elsewhere on the political calendar

Monday, June 24: A televised forum for Republican candidates for Congressional District 2, which stretches north from Casa Grande up through Flagstaff and into Northern Arizona’s Native American reservations. Challenger Jack Smith will be there but as of press time, incumbent Rep. Eli Crane has not confirmed his participation. The Arizona Media Association/Clean Elections event will be moderated by Tucson Sentinel Government and Political Impact Reporter Jim Nintzel. Submit questions for candidates and learn more about Arizona Media Association/Clean Elections debates here.

Tuesday, June 25: Legislative District 23 debate with Democratic candidates for House and Senate in this swing district. Tucson Sentinel Government and Political Impact Reporter Jim Nintzel will moderate this Zoom forum. Submit questions for candidates and learn more about Clean Elections debates here.

Thursday, June 27: Candidates for Marana Town Council meet in a League of Women Voters forum. 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Highlands at Dove Mountain Ballroom, 4949 W. Heritage Club Blvd.

Monday, July 1: Deadline to register to vote in the July 30 primary. Learn more about registering to vote here. 

Wednesday, July 3: First day of early voting for July 30 primary. Learn how to request an early ballot and find other voting information at the Pima County Recorder’s website.

Wednesday, July 19: Last day to request an early ballot via the mail for July 30 primary

Tuesday, July 30: Primary Election Day

Send your events for the Sentinel’s political calendar to [email protected]