Questions Arise on Candidate Qualifications for the 14th District Senate Race

On Wednesday, we reported that six candidates had qualified for to replace Barry Loudermilk in a special election for the 14th district State Senate Race to be held on November 5th. It didn’t take long for controversy to arise:

The Cherokee Tribune has this story:

Controversy already has begun in the Nov. 5 special election to replace Barry Loudermilk (R-Cassville) in the state Senate, with complaints brought forward this week claiming three of the six candidates are not legally qualified to run.

The Georgia Secretary of State’s Office is looking into complaints that candidates Dean Sheridan, Christopher G. Nesmith and Matt Laughridge are not eligible to run for the District 14 seat because of concerns raised by residents that the candidates’ qualifications might violate the state’s Constitution, Cody Whitlock, spokesman for the Secretary of State’s Office, confirmed.

A Canton resident delivered a complaint to the Secretary of State’s office that Sheridan and Nesmith are not eligible to run because they have outstanding tax bills. Georgia law requires all candidates to have paid all tax obligations prior to running for office.

Meanwhile, the Secretary of State’s office is investigating whether Laughridge has lived in the district for the required one year period.

The candidates, meanwhile, say they are eligible to run. Read the entire article for details.


  1. Three Jack says:

    Linda Flory and the rest of the anti-property rights crowd at it again. These people really need to find a life.

    • Anyone But Chip says:

      Because people who are pro-property rights don’t care if you pay your taxes? Not sure how the two are related.

    • gopherpup says:

      Agree with Anyone But Chip. What does that have to do with anything? If these potential candidates are ineligible, they’re ineligible.

      • Three Jack says:

        If you knew Linda and her crowd, you would understand…professional agitators with nothing better to do than harass potentially strong public servants. Dean Sheridan has responded to the question about his tax lien, read the story.

          • Cloverhurst says:

            First, a simple search on Dean and his wife will show that his house is going to be sold on the courthouse steps the first Tuesday in October, in his wife’s bankruptcy it lists his mortgage payment as $500.00 a month, how does he expect to pay these taxes when he can’t make a payment like that?

            Yes he has responded to the question about his tax lien; he responded with his normal delusion. If he had the money to make the payment he would have handled it before qualifying. He does not, and he is not going to prove the IRS wrong.

            Dean Sheridan may be a nice guy, but he cannot manage his own finance’s and should steer clear of the public’s.

            Second, why would you attack someone like Linda. What is wrong with people looking into and exposing issues with candidates, especially when those issues are cut and dry and all found on easy to search public databases.

  2. Garrett Jamieson says:

    That’s funny, “Three Jack”, I don’t recall reading Linda Flory’s name as the person who delivered the challenges of the eligibility of the candidates? I’m far from being “anti-property rights”. If a candidate is not qualified to run for office under the statutes set by the state, it is our civic duty to challenge said candidate’s eligibility. The State isn’t going to do it on it’s own. They’ve collected their $400 and passed go.

    • Three Jack says:

      Who is the ‘we’ you refer to in the Trib story Garrett – “(But) we’ve asked for proof, and he has produced no proof,” Jamieson said.

      • Garrett Jamieson says:

        My wife and I. My dog and I. Your 2002 arrest record and your unpaid tax lien and I. Honestly, Mr. Brannon, it’s far beyond your comprehension level. You just wouldn’t understand.

        • Three Jack says:

          Garrett, if you want to start posting the story of my 52 years, you better check with Charlie to be sure PP adds extra storage space.

          My comprehension level far exceeds your estimation. But I’m not going to influence you any more than you will me so I’ll end my part of this discussion by saying good luck with your election, I hope you find the absolute perfect person to represent the fine 14th.

  3. Anyone But Chip says:

    Three Jack

    What Mr. Sheridan said is the same thing he said when this arose during his failed state house bid. He’s had plenty of time to take care of this and he has not. He went unchallenged during that election but not this one. And how do you know that the we Garrett Jamieson mentioned wasn’t me?

  4. saltycracker says:

    The “no unpaid taxes” barrier was tested and breached with the newest Cherokee BOC member, Poole. It is a disappointing state of Georgia politics that we must write airtight laws to keep us from putting foxes in the henhouse to oversee our money.

  5. Herb says:

    It’s probably for the best that this seat go unrepresented instead of represented by a Republican unless we can find a candidate.

  6. jstjoan says:

    Can someone please share the citation for the requirement that all taxes must be paid to be eligible to run for office? I see where OCGA 21-2-8 says that “…the person shall not be holding illegally any public funds.” is that the same thing as not paying your taxes? Thanks in advance.

    • saltycracker says:

      The murky word is “illegally” . An overdue tax with an unsettled court case or a repayment plan is not considered illegal but it should disqualify a person from a ballot or suspend them from public positions until repaid 100%.

      Unless the public official is sure to vote our way, then they get a free pass (snark).

  7. gcp says:

    Taxes don’t necessarily have to be paid prior to running. Disqualification only applies after adjudication by a court of law. Ga. Constitution Article. II Section II Paragraph III Persons not eligible to hold office:

    who is a defaulter for any federal, state, county, municipal, or school system taxes required of such officeholder or candidate if such person has been finally adjudicated by a court of competent jurisdiction to owe those taxes, but such ineligibility may be removed at any time by full payment thereof, or by making payments to the tax authority pursuant to a payment plan, or under such other conditions as the General Assembly may provide by general law ;

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