Payson resident Mike Hull, who has been disqualified from the Gila County Supervisor's race by the county attorney's office, is appealing the decision to the Arizona Supreme Court.
Hull said the Phoenix law firm of Davis, McKee and Forshey is representing him free of charge in an appeal to uphold his candidacy that was filed Monday with the Arizona Supreme Court.
"The firm feels strongly that the county attorney's opinion based on Marsh vs. Haws is seriously flawed, and that I did not act inappropriately in any way," Hull said Thursday.
Hull's political difficulties began a few weeks ago when he decided to drop his bid for Gila County Sheriff and run for Gila County Dist. 1 Supervisor instead.
Gila County Attorney Jerry DeRose said he thinks Hull altered his petitions after obtaining some signatures, so he has disqualified Hull as a candidate for either office.
"The county attorney issued a legal opinion stating that Mr. Hull's nomination petitions had been altered as far as the name of the office and the district ... and that certain names had been collected before the change had been made to the petitions," Dixie Mundy, Gila County elections director, said.
Hull admited that he changed the name of the office for which he's running, but said he did so only on blank forms petitions that had not yet been signed by registered voters.
"The case cited by the county attorney deals with a situation where petitions were signed, and the heading was later whited-out and changed after the forms were filled out," Hull said. "That's not the case here. We're talking apples and oranges."
Hull said he finds some vindication in his law firm's conviction in his case.
"(Its) opinion only stands to confirm my feelings that none of my actions in this matter were improper morally, ethically or legally," he said.
Because the ballots for the September primary must be finalized soon, Hull said the Supreme Court is expected to act on his appeal quickly.
"My only desire at this point is to get this behind us and move to the business of giving the people of Dist. 1 a choice in the upcoming general election," he said.