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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ga. Supreme Court agrees to hear Jim Powell case

Jim Powell, the Public Service Commission candidate who's been both campaigning for a seat on the powerful agency and fighting a residency challenge through Georgia's legal system, will get his day in state Supreme Court.

The candidate, a former U.S. Department of Energy official, says the court has denied Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel's request to send the case back to the Court of Appeals and have placed it on the calendar for November. (I think it's safe to say they'd hear the case prior to election day on Nov. 4 — it's early and I'm awaiting confirmation from the court's spokesperson.)

Powell's fought a long battle so far. He first faced a residency challenge posed by Bob Indech, his opponent in the July 15 primary. After Powell cleared that obstacle, Handel booted him from the ballot in an eleventh-hour decision. A Fulton County Superior Court judge granted him a stay the day before the primary and he went on to trump Indech 85-15. Since then, it's been a game of legal ping pong between Powell and the state's guardian of the polling place. The state's highest court is where the back-and-forth must end.

"It's hurting me," Powell says when asked of the legal battle's impact. "It's obviously been a distraction. The biggest disadvantage is in fundraising."

Distractions aside, he says he's continuing his campaign. Today's schedule is nothing but fundraising meetings and phone calls.

To read CL's ongoing coverage of the Battle of Powell©, click here.

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