by Jim Nintzel
Green-turned-independent Dave Ewoldt has beaten Democrat-turned-independent Ted Downing’s effort to get him tossed off the November ballot.
Both men are running without party affiliation against Democrat state Sen. Paula Aboud in midtown Tucson’s Legislative District 28.
And Downing, who represented LD28 as a Democrat in the House of Representatives for two terms before losing a primary race against Aboud for the Senate seat in 2006, has a big gripe: Aboud and her companion, Terri Berg, helped Ewoldt make the ballot by passing his petitions.
Ewoldt says that Aboud and Berg did offer to carry some petitions for him because they’d been talking throughout the spring about the burdensome requirement that he had to collect 655 signatures to make the ballot.
Ewoldt, who has helped the Green Party run candidates in recent city elections, actually could have qualified for the ballot with just 46 signatures if he had remained a Green, but he decided that he’d have a better shot by embracing the independent label.
“The Greens are still looked by Democrats as spoilers,” Ewoldt says. “They’re looked at by Republicans as tree-hugging Feminazis.”
Ewoldt says Downing also decided to drop the party label in hopes of avoiding a primary fight with Aboud.
“He tried to talk me out of running because he says he’s going to re-file as an independent,” Ewoldt says. “I was like, OK, Ted, whatever. He admitted that he couldn’t beat Paula in the primary. I said, ‘What makes you think you’re going to do any better as an independent?’”