It turns out Richard Carmona won't be running totally unopposed in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate.
David Ruben, a Tucson psychiatrist, has submitted signatures to be on the ballot in the Aug. 28 primary.
It appeared as though Carmona would be the only Democrat on the Aug. 28 primary ballot because Don Bivens, the former Arizona Democratic party chairman, dropped out of the race in late March.
But Ruben, who had raised only $300 through March, turned in 7,786 signatures last week. The minimum is 5,671. Carmona turned in 10,011 signatures to get on the ballot.
Republican Jeff Flake is also on the ballot with 13,047 signatures. Republican Wil Cardon is expected to get on the ballot. The deadline is Wednesday.
Ruben, 64, said his "boots on the ground" experience talking to people directly - he says he's met with more than 150,000 people throughout his 35-year career in psychiatry - prepared him for a run for U.S. Senate.
"When I started this interest in running for political office, I found it was very much like what I had been doing all my life," Ruben said. "Talking to voters, finding out what their interests and problems are, and coming up with ideas with them of how to better them."
This will be Ruben's first full-fledged run for public office. His name was on the 2008 Arizona presidential preference election ballot as a Republican.
Ruben has switched party affiliations several times over the last three decades, said Pima County Deputy Recorder Chris Roads. He was a registered Democrat from 1984 to 2000. Then, he was a registered independent for seven years until he registered as a Republican in November 2007. In 2011, he switched back to independent. Then, in December 2011, he switched to Democrat.
Ruben said his family has been Democratic for several generations, and that philosophically, he's been Democrat or independent his entire life. He said he switched his party affiliation to Republican in 2007 because he felt he wasn't learning anything from then-candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, who were squaring off for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Born and raised in Tucson, Ruben's Healthcare Southwest clinic has offices in Tucson and Sierra Vista. His bio says he's also worked in restaurant supply, mining, fishing, coaching, building and writing.
He sees jobs and the economy as the principal issues on voters' minds.
Ruben faces a tall, tall task in competing against Carmona, the former U.S. surgeon general, who had raised $1.3 million for his campaign through March.
Contact reporter Brady McCombs at 573-4213 or email@example.com