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PHOENIX -- A judge has ruled that a Republican challenger to state Sen. Don Shooter will remain on the August primary ballot.

Shooter filed a lawsuit last week challenging the legality of signatures opponent Toby Farmer filed to qualify for the ballot.

Lawyers for Shooter alleged that Farmer signed petitions that contained multiple forged signatures. The suit sought a court finding that Farmer committed petition forgery and was therefore ineligible for the ballot.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge John Rea ruled Tuesday in Farmer's favor. Shooter campaign consultant Constantin Querard says Rea found that there had been forgeries but it could not be proven that Farmer was responsible.

Querard was puzzled by the ruling since Farmer signed the back of the petitions as the circulator.

Farmer did not appear at the hearing.

Associated Press,

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