State Rep. Daniel Patterson called us to deny the accusations that he hit his now ex-girlfriend and campaign manager, Georgette Escobar, saying she has serious mental problems and a history of felonies—and is trying to blackmail him.
He also said he will not step down from the Legislature, despite calls from his own party’s leadership and executive director to quietly go away. Patterson said the calls for him to resign are premature, and that the truth will vindicate him—though he may leave the party.
“This is lynch-mob type of politics that we see from Phoenix, and I’m not going to listen to these cutthroat throw-em-under-the-bus politicians from Phoenix,” he said. “I’m responsive to my constituents in Tucson. Period. … I’m not going to be blackmailed out of office.”
“I may become an independent,” he added.
He said he called the cops when he and Escobar got into an argument on Friday after she had told him about her history of mental illness and crime. She freaked out and hit him “at least 30 times” before the cops arrived, he said.
He said he was not cited or arrested and has not yet been served with a restraining order, though he admits to dodging service, because he said Escobar threatened to change the locks on his house after she had the order.
He speculated that the bruises she displayed to reporters today were self-inflicted, and said that the cops didn’t see any marks on her Friday.
Escobar is making allegations that are similar to those made by Patterson's ex-wife, Jeneiene Schaffer, two years ago. Patterson said that's because Escobar saw what Schaffer did and is following her example.
He said that he hasn’t made the best choices with women.
“I know I’m going to be much, much more careful with who I associate with in the future,” he said.
He said Escobar claims he owes her “thousands of dollars” and has hinted that if he would pay up, these allegations wouldn’t have become public. He said he doesn’t owe her money, and his position as a politician made him an easy target.
“People wonder why good people don’t go into politics," Patterson said. "It’s because of attacks like this.”
Patterson said he worries about his own safety and the safety of his daughter, and doesn’t want any contact with Escobar.
“I don’t feel safe around this woman. I think she’s a threat; she’s threatened me before. She’s blackmailing me,” he said.
As for the dog, Jake, Patterson said the pet belongs to both of them, and he just wants it to be safe. (When the Tucson Weekly interviewed Escobar this morning, she produced a document to show that the dog was registered in her name.)
“I’m happy to work something out with the dog. I just wanted to make sure he had someplace safe to be right now,” he said.