This was submitted by Ron Davis, a resident of Paulding County and blogger at Uphold Liberty.
Here in State Senate District 31, incumbent Bill Heath has two challengers in his bid for another term under the Gold Dome. This has been a pretty typical race so far, except for the unresolved allegation that one of the candidates actually lives in another district.
District 31 includes Haralson, Polk, and much of Paulding County. Bill Carruth, who previously served as Chairman of the Paulding County Commission, is one of the candidates challenging Heath for the seat.
Carruth has a very nice home in Paulding County that he built on a large piece of land. This house, which has been his primary residence, is outside the 31st district. Last fall, Carruth changed his registered voting address to a basic starter home he is renting inside the district.
While there is certainly nothing to prevent Carruth from relocating from his large home outside the district to a small home inside the district, it seems unlikely that a family accustomed to a large home in the country would voluntarily move into a rented starter home.
In June, Paulding County resident Bill Houston filed a complaint with Brian Kemp’s office challenging the legitimacy of Carruth’s candidacy. A hearing was held to consider this challenge last week. When I spoke with Houston this weekend, he said he hopes to have results from the hearing sometime this week.
To be clear, I am not a Bill Heath supporter trying to raise controversy for an opponent. I know Heath, and though I’ve supported him in the past (though reluctantly at times), I am currently undecided in this race. My concern is that someone who does not legitimately live inside my district is scheming and plotting his way to a position of power representing people he has no legal right to represent.
At the very least, Bill Carruth owes the residents of District 31 an explanation and a clarification on this issue. Fortunately, this issue is now before a court that will require Carruth to prove he meets the criteria to be on the ballot.
But even if Carruth is allowed to run for this seat, is his approach of avoiding questions and keeping silent on the issue (except for a frustrated “Liar, liar, pants on fire” response shouted in Bill Heath’s general direction) something the voters of the district will tolerate? I certainly hope not.