The Arizona Democratic Party will file a lawsuit Thursday against the state’s top election administrator and No Labels, seeking to reverse the moderate group’s recognition as a political party for the 2024 elections, according to Democratic officials.
The lawsuit, in state court in Phoenix, reflects growing concern in Democratic circles that a No Labels third-party ticket in 2024 will jeopardize the reelection hopes of President Biden and make it harder for Democrats to maintain control of the Senate.
The lawsuit claims that Secretary of State Adrian Fontes, who is a Democrat, made an error in accepting signature petitions for the No Labels Party, because accompanying affidavits from proposed electors were signed before all the petitions were gathered, in violation of state statute. As a result, the Arizona Democratic Party claims the affidavits purporting to verify the petitions should be considered false and the petitions invalid.
The lawsuit also argues that No Labels, which is organized as a social welfare nonprofit that is not required to disclose its donors, has failed to comply with the federal requirements of a political party, including donation limits and donor disclosure.
“No Labels is not following the rules for political party recognition, while attempting to be placed on the ballot alongside actual, functioning political parties who do,” said Morgan Dick, spokeswoman for the Arizona Democratic Party. “Arizonans deserve better and voters deserve to know who is behind this shadowy organization and what potentially nefarious agenda they are pushing.”
Ryan Clancy, the chief strategist for No Labels, dismissed the lawsuit as a political move.
“This undemocratic and unscrupulous lawsuit is a disgrace,” he said in a statement. “Next time you hear this crowd talking about protecting democracy, remember what they are really doing is protecting their turf.”