PHOENIX (AP) The first state lawmaker in the nation to be first kicked out of office amid sexual misconduct claims since the #MeToo movement started can run for state Senate, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.
The justices said Don Shooter’s name can appear on the ballot in the Aug. 28 Republican primary because it appears he’s still a resident of the district he wants to represent.
An opponent, Brent Backus, had filed a legal challenge saying Shooter doesn’t live at an address in Yuma as he claims.
The state House expelled Shooter in February after investigators concluded he sexually harassed at least seven women, including fellow lawmakers.
He has apologized for what he called insensitive comments involving women but said he never sought to touch anyone or have a sexual relationship.
Shooter previously represented a district that includes parts of Yuma and Phoenix.
The state Supreme Court affirmed the decision of a Maricopa County Superior Court judge that Shooter has treated his Yuma apartment as his primary residence in the five years that he’s lived there.
Shooter has filed more than 800 signatures to qualify for the primary election ballot in the southwestern Arizona district.
Other candidates seeking the district’s Senate seat are Republican Sen. Sine Kerr, a dairy farmer who was appointed to fill the seat, Republican Royce Jenkins, and Democrat Michelle Harris.