Two Republicans Compete for Cochise County Judge Seat in Primary Election

Two Republicans, Ruth Faulkner and Richard Karwaczka, are vying for the position of Cochise County judge in the upcoming primary election. With no Democrat or Independent candidate in the race, one of the Republicans will secure the seat in November, barring any unforeseen circumstances. Both Faulkner and Karwaczka meet the constitutional requirements for a superior court judge and possess the necessary legal experience expected of a judge.

Faulkner, admitted to the State Bar of Arizona in 2013, previously worked as a criminal defense attorney in Cochise County’s Legal Defender unit. She later joined County Attorney Brian McIntyre’s office as a prosecutor. Karwaczka, currently serving as Cochise County Administrator, is also admitted to the State Bar of Arizona and has experience as both a criminal defense attorney and prosecutor. He moved to Cochise County in 2016 and has since held various legal positions.

While Faulkner has been involved in campaigning for local Republican candidates and volunteering at Cochise County Republican Committee events, Karwaczka is engaged in party activities and community groups through his county job. However, some local Republicans express opposition to Karwaczka’s candidacy, primarily due to concerns about his job performance, particularly in relation to the Elections Department. Additionally, some party loyalists criticize him for what they perceive as a lack of public support for his fellow Republicans Tom Crosby and Peggy Judd, who are currently facing felony charges of conspiracy and election interference.

Similarly, Faulkner faces rejection from certain voters due to her association with County Attorney Brian McIntyre, who testified against Crosby and Judd in a grand jury hearing. These voters reject anyone connected to McIntyre, despite his Republican affiliation.

In addition to the internal dynamics of the Republican primary, the outcome may be influenced by the more than 25,000 registered independent voters in Cochise County. These voters have the option to request a Republican primary ballot and can do so in writing or by visiting the county’s vote centers on July 30.

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