Democratic Party Chair Jake Perkinson has made it very clear he supports Democrat Doug Hoffer for auditor. But when it came to signing a petition to get him on the ballot?
Reporter Susie Steimle: Did you sign Doug Hoffer's petition?
Jake Perkinson: I don't remember.
He did however sign Republican Vince Illuzzi's petition for auditor -- something he said he doesn't regret.
Reporter Susie Steimle: If you could go back to that day and sign the petition again would you?
Jake Perkinson: Yes.
For the primary election you can sign more than one petition for each seat, just not within the same party. For example, you could sign both Republican Vince Illuzzi and Democrat Doug Hoffer's petitions in the race for auditor, but you could only sign either Democrat Bill Sorrell or Democrat TJ Donovan's petitions in the race for Attorney General. So signing a candidate's petition doesn't necessarily mean you support that candidate.
Each candidate needs 500 signatures turned into the secretary of state to get his or her name on the ballot for the August primary. Secretary of State Jim Condos said bipartisan petition signing is not uncommon. "No, it's not shocking to me. If you looked at my petition, its got top Republicans on it as well," he said.
The cynic might say a tactical political move would be signing the petition for the weaker candidate in the opposing party, hoping to put a weaker candidate on the ballot and increase your candidate's chances. But getting Illuzzi on the ticket has made for a tight auditor's race. Perkinson said that's the way it should be. "I think it's important that people have the opportunity to put their views out there and we have a real contest, and that's what we have," he said.
Perkinson said refusing to sign a Republican petition simply because he's the Democratic party chair would be mean spirited. "In this process of getting people on the ballot, we don't need to play games," he said.
This principle applies to possibly the tightest race of them all this political season. For the primary election, even Wendy Wilton, the Republican running for treasurer signed her opponent, Democrat Beth Pearce's petition, to help her get on the ballot.
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