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Victor Varela Drops Out Of Flagstaff Mayor’s Race After Admitting To Falsifying Information To Collect Signatures

A candidate for Flagstaff Mayor stepped down Thursday after admitting to falsifying signatures on his nomination form. Victor Varela announced on the KAFF News Facebook page that he pulled out of the election as he remains under investigation by the Arizona Attorney General’s office. Varela said “I am so sorry. I am dropping out. I know I should have April 20th when they couldn’t challenge my signatures. It was never my intention to commit fraud or to cheat my way in. I am not going to try to justify my behavior it was wrong and I should have not gone down that road. Again, I am sorry.” He told the “Arizona Daily Sun” this week that he submitted “fraudulent signatures” saying “I got the names from Facebook. I got the addresses from a phone book. I made up addresses.” The investigation by the attorney general’s office has been ongoing since April, but a decision has not been made on the matter. Because the investigation hasn’t concluded, early ballots went out for the August primary this week with his name on it. The paper says more than a thousand signatures were turned in to the city by Varela, with more than 700 showing registered addresses in the city. However, with those addresses, many of the names were residents who didn’t live there or were not real. Election day for the primary is August 4th.