Senate 6 Candidate Doesn’t Live in District

From Jim Balloch at the News Sentinel:
Gloria Johnson plans to move up to the state Senate — after moving into the 6th District she wants to represent.
Johnson, current chair of the Knox County Democratic Party and a longtime schoolteacher, lives on Brice Street — which is in the 7th Senate District. The 6th Senate District seat was vacated by Republican Jamie Woodson earlier this year.
Johnson is the only Democrat in the race so far. Most of her 19 years as a teacher were spent in 6th District schools, she said.
“So the majority of my time has been spent in the 6th District,” she said. “I never spent much time at home.”
State election officials, relying in part on a pair of state attorney general’s opinions, have held that her candidacy is valid as long as she is a resident of the 6th Senate District by the date of the general election — Nov. 8.
“We checked with the State Election Commission and were told the candidate must meet two requirements,” said Knox County Elections Administrator Cliff Rodgers. “(They are) that the candidate must have been a resident of Knox County for one year before the general election for that office (and) must reside in the district by the date of the general election.”
Johnson said that before she picked up a qualifying petition, she carefully studied the legality of filing and campaigning before actually being a resident of the 6th district. She said she is already looking for a home in the 6th district to be a resident no later than the day of the election.
She said she has looked in several areas and expects that she will have to rent a home first, then sell her current home before buying a new one.
“I’m not wealthy, so how fast I can buy will depend on how fast I sell,” she said.
The primary election is Sept. 27. In the Republican primary there are three announced candidates: former Knox County Commissioner Victoria DeFreese, Sertoma Center Executive Director Becky Duncan Massey and Knoxville City Councilwoman Marilyn Roddy.
Note: See also Tennessee Ticket and the discussion over at Knoxviews. And Brian Hornback has commentary from the Republican end of the political spectrum.

Leave a Reply