Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

On  Monday, April 22nd, Jamie Aldama withdrew from the mayoral race. In effect, he conceded that he had not collected enough valid petition signatures to place him on the ballot. 

Some background: A Glendale mayoral candidate is required to have a minimum of 1,888 valid signatures on his/her nominating petitions. Aldama turned in 2,367 (487 signatures more than the minimum required). Typically, a candidate will try to turn in double the required number as a cushion, knowing that a certain percentage of signatures will always be invalid.

It was common knowledge that Aldama was chasing signatures up until the last minute and was purported to have had difficulty in meeting the minimum required. Aldama took a chance turning in far less than double the amount required.

Timothy Schwartz, represented by Tim LaSota, filed the complaint after having identified 677 signatures as invalid. Many of the invalid signatures appeared to have the signature column with signed names in block letters in the same handwriting leading some to believe that an alleged fraud was committed. The County Attorney General’s office has announced that it is investigating all such cases. Whether Aldama’s signatures will be investigated for alleged fraud by the County Attorney General is unknown at this time.

Over the weekend the County Recorder’s office reviewed the petitions of all candidates being challenged. In the review of Aldama’ petitions the County Recorder found 498 invalid signatures. Based upon this factual information, Aldama was short of the minimum requirement by 19 signatures.

He may have withdrawn to preserve his right to run for mayor again in 2028. If the County Attorney’s office pursues the issue of fraud of Aldama’s petition signatures, that may become a future barrier to his attempt to run for any office in 2028. If the County Attorney finds that there was fraud, a person is barred from running for office for 5 years.

One question will be to see what Aldama does with the balance of $59,000 plus he reported in his last Candidate Committee Financial Report of April 15, 2024.

There are several takeaways from Aldama’s tenure as Councilmember. One which many have noticed was his proclivity to thank everyone for everything. Another was his purported failure to meet with his constituents. People complained that he would often cancel meetings at the last minute with a promise to reschedule that usually never happened. It appeared that unless you were someone who could further his future agenda a meeting was not rescheduled. Then there had always been lingering questions about his residency. Many to this day believe that he did not live in a rental in the Ocotillo district but rather lived in a house in the Yucca district that he owned until December of 2016. In 2016, he Quit Claimed that house to his wife. It’s hard for many to accept at face value that Aldama and his wife lived in a rental in the Ocotillo district when they had a perfectly good home in the Yucca district. Lastly, it had been rumored that Aldama and the Mayor had a conversation in which Aldama indicated that he was not running for mayor this year. Several weeks later, Aldama announced his run for mayor. If that did indeed occur, it would appear that Aldama’s word was not his bond.

I would anticipate that some of Aldama’s supporters will say that challenging petition signatures is a dirty trick. Not so. This occurs every election cycle. A very recent case was that of Representative Austin Smith. He recently withdrew from his reelection campaign after accusations of petition signature fraud presumably resulting in failing to file the required minimum number of valid signatures. Candidates have often been knocked off a ballot after a challenge and discovery of insufficient valid petition signatures. This is not the first time, nor will it be the last.

© Joyce Clark, 2024    


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