Democrat Ephraim Cruz: Didn’t Understand Arizona Well Enough To Vote

Although he’s asking for votes from Democrats in the seven-way super-slam in Legislative District 29, Ephraim Cruz has only voted three times since moving to Arizona 10 years ago.

Cruz, a former Border Patrol agent who was forced out of the federal agency after complaining about the treatment of illegal immigrants while in Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody, moved from New York City to Arizona in 1998, but did not register to vote in Cochise County until 2004, according to Cochise County records. He voted in the 2004 primary and general elections.

Cruz skipped the 2006 election cycle and registered to vote in Pima County in the fall of 2007. He voted in for the third time in Arizona in the February 2008 presidential primary election.

Cruz tells ScrambleWatch ’08 he didn’t vote more often because he didn’t have a firm grasp of the local political landscape.

“I’ve taken the time to understand Arizona politics,” says Cruz. “I come from a whole different world in New York City…. Also, being the Border Patrol, I was limited in my involvement in politics.”

Cruz concedes that the federal Hatch Act, which limits political activity by federal employers, did not prohibit him from voting. But he said the “tumultuous nature” of his life prevented him from updating his registration and casting a ballot.

“I had various places that I lived and only became settled in October of 06,” he says. “So that’s when I felt comfortable registering to vote, when I had a place I could call home and I was stable. It took that long to get into a position of stability.”

Do other candidates have lousy voting records? Stay tuned to find out!

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4 Responses

  1. Tumlultuous life? What about the military folks who find the wherewithall to vote even when they’re in a combat zone, Mr. Cruz?

    The last time we got someone at the legislature who didn’t bother to vote was that lady who beat Al Melvin in LD 26. She turned out to be a lazy loser who did nothing and failed to represent her district.

    If you’re going to run for office you need to show why you’re the best, not why you’re one of those people who complain but don’t bother to vote.

  2. It seems odd Mr. Nintzel chose to reveal only this part of the interview. I bet M. Cruz had some good things to say about himself.

  3. Nitzel in fact did mention other things about Cruz. They can be seen in the LD29 list of candidates profiles on this website and in the Tucson Weekly of two weeks ago.

    I’ll bet that Nitzel chose to write about Cruz’s voting record because it is, in fact, a vital concern as a constituent to know this about him. How can we measure what his true values are without a voting record–merely writing them down on a campaign flyer is not enough. And, more importantly, how are we to know how committed and passionate he is about our district if he is very new not only to the campaign process but new to voting on our issues.

    He seems like a nice enough guy, but he has absolutely no track record in our district, while several of the other candidates do. Heinz and Patterson are my picks.

  4. “So that’s when I felt comfortable registering to vote, when I had a place I could call home and I was stable. It took that long to get into a position of stability.”

    Oh really? That reassuring. If it took you that long to fill out a form and vote, how long will it take you to get stabilized in the House? If filling out a form is difficult, just wait until you are expected to push legislation and represent the Tucson community. No, thanks, I’ll take my chances with someone who cares enough to actually vote.

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