Carla Roberts is a candidate for House District 81 in the Republican Primary. Her opponent is a guy named Chris Boedeker, who has filed a residency challenge against Mrs. Roberts, accusing her of not living where she says she lives. Boedeker cites as evidence a DeKalb County homestead exemption from DeKalb County. (Side note to Mr. Boedeker: You shouldn’t trust property tax records, especially ones from DeKalb County.)
Roberts response is:
“For the record: I live at 3297 Rose Ridge in unincorporated DeKalb County. I have lived in DeKalb County for more than 20 years, I’ve lived in this community for 11 years, and I am fully qualified to be a candidate for the 81st district in the State House of Representatives. The accusation that I don’t live where I live is especially galling from a man who moved to this County less than a year ago and doesn’t even own property in DeKalb.”
Those of you who believe that homestead exemption is the deciding factor in determining residency need to remember a few facts. Like the Powell case from 2008 where a homestead exemption question could not keep a candidate off the ballot. Or the Williams case from 2004 where a homestead exemption question could not keep a candidate off the ballot.
And candidates would do well to remember the Fayette County case of Rick Viall and Dan Lakly, who had such nasty primary fight over residency and property taxes in a State House race that voters got sick of both of them and elected Kathy Cox.
We all know how that turned out. The incumbent lost to someone who was smarter than a fifth grader.
The winner of this primary is going to have her or his hands full with incumbent Rep Scott Holcomb. It seems like a decent waste of time to spend the brief period allotted to the primary questioning where someone lives based solely on an errant homestead exemption, especially given the above citations.
Though I haven’t met Mr. Boedeker, I have met Mrs. Roberts. I can assure you that she’s no Keith Gross. As an Emory/Grady surgeon, I also find her smarter than a fifth grader. Or at least smart enough to know where she lives.