PHOENIX — Moses Sanchez says he’s been a proud Ahwatukee resident for 18 years. In fact, his extended family lives next door. Sanchez is running for Phoenix City Council for his district, District Six in November.
"You hear about election integrity. You hear about integrity being thrown around all over the place. It's a hot topic right now,” Sanchez says. “And when you find that a candidate lives in a different city than the than the city he's running for, that sends signals and red flags everywhere. It's very disappointing.”
Thursday, Sanchez wants the Arizona Supreme Court to have the final say if his opponent, Kevin Robinson, can run. Sanchez filed the appeal Thursday afternoon.
"It's frustrating because voters don't always get these details,” Sanchez says.
The appeal comes after Sanchez filed a request for an injunction to remove Robinson off the November ballot. But last week, Maricopa Superior Court Judge Scott McCoy ruled in favor of Robinson.
"He doesn't live in Phoenix. He doesn't live in the community and it's frustrating. Especially as someone who's lived here for almost 20 years,” says Sanchez.
ABC15 went to the address that’s listed in public records to see if Robinson was home. Robinson was in a vehicle and declined our interview. He told us the judge already ruled in his favor and referred us to his attorneys.
They say Robinson is an Ahwatukee resident and that they proved it overwhelmingly in court.
However, we received transcripts of proceedings from Sanchez’s lawyers. In the transcripts, Robinson admits to renting the fully furnished Ahwatukee home. But that his wife doesn’t sleep there, but instead at the Scottsdale home they bought in 2020 to be closer to her work.
He told the court, they are not separated or divorced.
Also in the testimony, Robinson admits to using the backdoor, so he’s not monitored through his front doorbell camera. He said it was for privacy concerns.
Robinson also said he rented the Ahwatukee home in October, so that he would be eligible for candidacy.
“He testified for all these things,” says Sanchez. “We were surprised when the judge came out and ruled in his favor.”
Ultimately, Maricopa County Judge McCoy says Robinson meets all residence requirements. But Sanchez claims Judge McCoy was not impartial to Robinson.
"Right after the judgment came down, we started doing a little bit of digging and we found out that the judge's wife happened to have signed Kevin Robinson's petition,” Sanchez says. “And that was just earth shattering for us.”
Sanchez says that information was not disclosed before Judge McCoy’s ruling. Judge McCoy standing by his ruling, telling ABC15 he has no further comment.
We reached out to the City Clerk about how long a resident can live in a city before they run for office. They sent us back the following statement:
"The City Clerk’s Office verifies a candidate’s residence during the nomination filing process -- When filing nomination papers and petitions, a candidate must submit an ‘Acceptance of Nomination Form’ to the City Clerk’s Office and list their residential address. At the time of filing, the City Clerk’s Office verifies the candidate’s voter registration information on file with Maricopa County, and confirms that the candidate’s registered residential address matches the address on the ‘Acceptance of Nomination Form’, that the address is within the district/boundaries of the office being sought, and that the voter’s registration status is active."