Incumbent, contractor vie for Pinal constable - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Incumbent, contractor vie for Pinal constable

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Posted: Saturday, September 13, 2008 6:59 pm | Updated: 11:58 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

The race for Pinal County constable will pit a onetime business owner and sales contractor against a veteran California police officer in November's general election.

Republican incumbent George Hoffman, a retired detective, will square off against Democrat contractor Ken Edwards in the Nov.4 contest for constable. Both ran unopposed in the primary.

As the incumbent, Hoffman said his experience sets him apart from his opponent. Hoffman was appointed to the position in January when the current constable had to step down due to health problems.

As constable, Hoffman said he is tenacious in serving court orders.

"If I can't catch the people at home one day, I leave my business card and come back the next day," he said.

Hoffman, a resident of Maricopa, moved to Pinal County in 2005 from California where he served over 24 years as a San Diego police patrol officer and retired as a child abuse detective.

Hoffman said on most days he serves three to five people on everything from criminal and civil subpoenas to orders of protection.

In June, Hoffman was accused of receiving fraudulent signatures on his campaign petition and a complaint was filed against him by Joseph Robison, according to court documents.

The case was thrown out because it was not placed within 24 hours of the petition filing, said Judge William O'Neil.

"If you don't serve speedily, it's fatal," O'Neil said.

"I was acting on good faith," Hoffman said, adding the people who signed his petition told him they were registered as Republicans in his district.

As his opponent, Edwards thinks Hoffman's actions are unacceptable, and if elected, he hopes to suggest changing the filing window to at least 36 hours.

Edwards currently works as a sales contractor and has been involved in business deals with Viacom and Princess Cruise Lines for an architectural glass company, he said.

His experiences on both ends of the economic spectrum, from the janitor of one business to eventually managing his own, helps him recognize the effect of the difficult economic situation on many Pinal County families, he said.

One of his most memorable accomplishments, he says, was helping a group of Arizona Native Americans set up a diet and exercise plan to prevent the spread of type-2 diabetes as a Pure Fitness marketing employee.

Edwards moved to Scottsdale in 1982 from Boston and lived there until 2004 when he moved to Maricopa.

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