Tag Archives: outside

Some House Candidates Living Outside the Lines

The Tennessean has a roundup story on some of the state House candidates who live outside the boundaries of the district they want to represent.
Jason Potts wants your vote in the Aug. 2 Democratic primary, and he’s going to need it. After all, the House District 53 candidate won’t be able to vote for himself.
Charles Williamson says he already cast a ballot for himself in District 50. But the Republican shouldn’t have, based on Metro Codes documents and rulings that show he can’t legally live where he registered to vote.
Potts, already a Metro councilman, does not yet live in the South Nashville legislative district he seeks to represent in the General Assembly. He’s one of several candidates who haven’t established residency this year in the districts where they’re campaigning for voters’ support.
“I do think it’s important to live in the place you’re going to represent,” said Jason Powell, Potts’ primary opponent.
But Powell had his own bit part in the game of musical homes that tends to play out every 10 years in the wake of redistricting by the legislature. He just moved to the district himself in March, after he had already picked up a candidate qualifying position.
The candidates have benefited from a timing quirk in state election law, which allows them to run from beyond a district’s borders but requires them to live within them to hold the office.
Earlier this year, a Knox County judge removed state Senate candidate Shelley Breeding from the ballot over residency concerns. Breeding said her home was in Knox County, but the judge determined the border property was actually in Anderson County. A state appeals court upheld the ruling, and the Tennessee Supreme Court declined to consider the case further.
Susan Lynn, a former state representative running to reclaim the District 57 seat she held for eight years, now lives in District 46. Lynn has said lawmakers, including Rep. Linda Elam, who replaced her, redrew the Wilson County district to exclude her.