Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Jacobs may not be out of the woods yet

Posted By on Tue, Aug 5, 2008 at 10:04 PM

Just yesterday, we noted what a sorry effort DeKalb Democrats seem to have made to reclaim the House seat lost when former Democratic up-and-comer Mike Jacobs switched parties last year. They began the election season with two potential challengers, but looked to be throwing in the towel with both their candidates disqualified.

Not so fast, says Michelle Conlon, one of the two would-be candidates.

She's appealed a decision by Secretary of State Karen Handel that Conlon hadn't gathered enough valid signatures to qualify as an independent candidate. Conlon, a sales manager with a renewable energy firm, had tried to get on the ballot after Democrat Keith Gross was disqualified for not meeting residency requirements.

Conlon says she gathered far more than the 1,027 signatures required to qualify, but Handel threw out more than 800 John Hancocks, leaving her 51 short. Conlon has filed a formal appeal in DeKalb Superior Court. No hearing date has been set, but in the meantime, she says she plans to keep campaigning.

Conlon also says the Jacobs campaign tried to influence Handel's decision by challenging the validity of her petitions. It's also been speculated that a Jacobs proxy filed the residency challenge against Gross.

“It appears that Mike is trying to litigate his way to re?election,” Conlon says. “Even by his own lawyer’s count, I received more signatures than he received votes in the July Primary. It is clear to me that voters in the district want a choice on the ballot in November, and it seems to me that Mike is looking out for Mike’s best interest, not the best interest of voters.”

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