1 of 3 Democrats seeking Congress seat short of signatures

January 22, 2018

FILE - In this March 24, 2017 file photo, Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz. speaks with a reporter on Capitol Hill in Washington, as the House nears a vote on their health care overhaul. Thirteen Republicans and three Democrats filed enough signatures to make the ballot for a special primary election to replace former U.S. Rep. Franks, state elections officials said Wednesday evening, Jan. 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

PHOENIX (AP) — Maricopa County elections officials say they’ve completed reviews of signatures qualifying two Democratic candidates for a special congressional election ballot and one falls well short.

The review of signatures challenged by a third Democratic candidate shows Gene Scharer has just 353 of the 665 needed signatures.

The Maricopa County Recorder certified Monday that Brianna Westbrook has 669 valid signatures, four above the threshold.

The signatures were challenged in court by a backer of the third Democratic candidate, Dr. Hiral Tipirneni. Court hearings are set for Tuesday.

Twelve Republican candidates are also seeking the seat vacated by Republican U.S. Rep. Trent Franks when he resigned last month amid sexual harassment allegations.

The special primary election is Feb. 27, followed by an April 24 general election.

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