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Turner Introduces Bill To Clean Up Residency Requirements for Candidates

State Rep. Scot Turner wants to clean up language that stipulates how long a person must live in a district before seeking to run for office.

Newly elected State Representative Scot Turner has introduced his first bill in the Georgia General Assembly.

House Bill 436 "addresses a flaw in the current code and would allow local legislation to create a 12 month residency requirement," he wrote on his Facebook page.

"This would prevent someone from moving into an area days before qualifying and then run for elected office," he added.

The bill, which is also co-sponsored by Rep. Calvin Hill (R-Hickory Flat) and Rep. Michael Caldwell (R-Woodstock), allows local counties and cities to create a 12-month residency requirement for anyone seeking public office in their county or cities. The bill would exclude candidates for judicial office. 

Turner said the bill would clean up some discrepancies on what the residency qualifications are to run for local office.

He noted the current wording implies that there is a 24-month requirement to reside in a district to run for county commission.

However, the Georgia Constitution prohibits requirements from exceeding 12 months, thus making the rule unconstitutional. 

The state representative said he was asked to look into residency requirements by former Cherokee County District 2 Commissioner Jim Hubbard, who told Turner a candidate who ran against him during the 2012 primary season allegedly moved into the district a few weeks before qualifying for the Republican primary.

The bill would be introduced as local legislation, meaning the Cherokee County legislative delegation would have to agree to the bill before sending it to the state legislature to be considered. 

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