Election Commission Disqualifies Candidate Over Dual-County Household

Does the location of your septic tank determine your qualifications for office?

Shelly Breeding is a Democrat who has turned in a petition to run for the new House seat in northwest Knox County. But her property straddles the Knox-Anderson County line. She votes in Knox County, her mail box and thus her address is in Knox County, and her septic tank is in Knox County. But the KGIS mapping system locates her house in Anderson County, which prompts her mortgage company to send tax payments to Anderson County.

Based on the KGIS info, the Knox County Election Commission has ruled preliminarily that she is not eligible to run for the Knox County House seat, but it has kicked the issue up to the state Election Commission for a ruling. The issue is likely to end up in court, though the Knox County Election Commission wants the issue resolved before the campaign, when an opponent is likely to challenge Breeding's residency.

The election commission might not think Breeding is a Knox County resident, but Knox County's court system evidently does. She's been summoned for jury duty. Stay tuned.