by David Safier
From Stephen Lemons (aka Feathered Bastard) at the Phoenix New Times, who has done hands down the best work on the Olivia Cortes candidacy.
Hours before she was to appear at a candidates' forum in Mesa and one day before a second, scheduled evidentiary hearing in superior court over her sham campaign, Olivia Cortes this morning officially withdrew her candidacy for state Senate at the Arizona Secretary of State's Office.
There are two probable reasons. The most important is, this proabably means the end of the hearings about her sham candidacy. Here are some of the people who were subpoenaed as witnesses and would have to answer, under oath, whether Russell Pearce knew of and participated in the drive to get Cortes on the ballot.
Justice of the Peace Lester Pearce (Russell's brother), Republican political operative Constantin Querard, the Senate President's nieces Megan Sirrine and Shilo Sessions, and Diane Burns, owner of Petition Pros, the company that collected signatures for Cortes.
That could have been a very revealing, and very enjoyable (but not for the witnesses) event. Now, it's off.
The other reason is, Cortes was hours away from a candidate's debate with Pearce and Lewis. The ways she could have embarrassed herself are countless. She knows nothing about anything having to do with her candidacy or statewide issues. Her one statement, "I'm in it to win it" would fill two seconds, then she has nothing.
According to Lemons,
SOS spokesman Matt Roberts tells me her name will remain on the ballot, but that notices will be posted at the polls and on the SOS' Web site advising the public that she is no longer a candidate for office. Votes for her will still count, though.