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!