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Knox Election Commission Asks Court to Decided Breeding Issue

The Knox County Election Commission voted today to ask a court to decide the residency issue of Democrat legislative hopeful Shelley Breeding.
Breeding, who has filed to run in the newly formed 89th state House district, said she was not surprised at the commission’s ruling.
“It’s not the worst thing, though,” she said, adding that she felt comfortable with having a court decide.
“I think the law is strongly on our side,” she said.
Knox County Law Director Joe Jarrett said the petition for a declaratory judgment could be filed in Chancery Court as early as today, or Friday at the latest. Work had already started because he anticipated the ruling, he said.
The 89th district lies entirely in Knox County. Part of Breeding’s property, including her driveway and mailbox with a Knoxville address, is in Knox County, but her house lies in Anderson County, which collects her property tax.
Her lawyer Bill Stokes, is a Republican and former county GOP chair. He said Breeding meets a number of other criteria that qualify her to run as a candidate from Knox County.
“She is a bona fide Knox County resident,” he said.
The commission vote was 3-to-2, along party lines, to send the matter directly to court instead of voting on her candidacy. State election officials earlier advised the Knox County Election Commission to send the matter straight to court, since it was likely to land there anyway.
(Note: from Jim Balloch of the News Sentinel)

Breeding Candidacy Headed to Court? (Democrats Cry Foul)

A court needs to decide the legal residency of state legislative hopeful Shelley Breeding, a state election official has advised the Knox County Election Commission, reports Jim Balloch.
A letter to the commission, state Election Coordinator Mark Goins expressed several doubts about Breeding’s eligibility to run in Knox County. (Note: full text of letter HERE.)
But Goins concluded that since the issue is likely to land in court anyway, it is better for a judge to decide it now instead of later.
Breeding, a Democrat, has petitioned to run from the newly created 89th state House District, which lies entirely in Knox County. But part of her residential property — including her dwelling — is in Anderson County.
The Knox County Election Commission should petition a court for a declaratory judgment on the issue now, Goins said. The commission has scheduled a meeting for 8 a.m. on Tuesday, April 17, to discuss the issue.
Breeding could not be reached for comment, but she has previously vowed to challenge any denial of a place on the ballot.
“Under these circumstances, it is better to receive the court’s guidance on the front end of the issue,” Goins said in a four-page letter that cited case law and a number of issues relating to residency.
Breeding’s mailbox and driveway are in Knox County, but her house is entirely in Anderson County, said Knox County Election Coordinator Cliff Rodgers

And, this from the state Democratic party on the matter:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee Democratic Party spokesman Brandon Puttbrese issued a statement in response to the state election coordinator’s letter urging the Knox County Election Commission to contest the qualifying petition of Democratic candidate Shelley Breeding in court:
“As if it is not shameful enough that Republicans are working overtime to block a woman from running for office, they are also preparing to waste thousands of taxpayers’ dollars in defense of their blatant overreach,” Puttbrese said. “Shelley Breeding’s address is in Knoxville. Her voter registration is in Knox County. She was even summoned to jury duty in Knox County. The gig is up. Voters are responsible for determining the outcome of elections — not Republican bureaucrats. This is nothing more an attempt to rob voters of their right to choose their leaders.”

Knox House Candidate’s Legal Residence Questioned

Knox County election officials have asked the state to decide a legal question about the Knox County residency of a Democrat hopeful for state House of Representatives, .the News Sentinel reports
Shelley Breeding has filed paperwork to run in the newly created 89th District, which lies entirely in Knox County. But her residential property lies partly in Anderson County and partly in Knox County, said Knox County Election Coordinator Cliff Rodgers.
“At this point, we are waiting on guidance” from the state election coordinator’s office, Rodgers said. “We hope to hear from them soon.”
He said an employee in his office noticed that KGIS showed part of her property was in Anderson County.
“Her mailbox and her driveway are in Knox County, but her house is entirely in Anderson County,” Rodgers said. The real estate taxes on the property “are paid to the Anderson County trustee’s office, through her mortgage company.”

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