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25 July 2012

Disqualified Democrat Blames Republicans & Vows to Fight for a Spot on the Ballot

Disqualified state House candidate Richie Smith, who was ruled ineligible to be a candidate for the Georgia House of Representatives in District 151 and thrown off the ballot, vowed to appeal the decision by Secretary of State Brian Kemp.

Lamar Brand of Blakely filed paperwork challenging [Richie] Smith's candidacy over what Brand said were back taxes owed by the candidate. Smith failed to show for a hearing on the matter. The hearing officer turned the matter over to Kemp, who announced Monday that Smith was ineligible. It was one of 13 election challenges that Kemp announced final rulings on Monday.

Staff Reports (2012-7-24). Smith to appeal disqualification. Albany Herald. Retrieved on 2012-7-25.

Richie Smith blamed Republicans after he was bounced off the ballot. But Richie Smith didn't even show up to the hearing, according to media reports.

In candidate challenges, the burden of proof is on the challenged candidate to establish affirmatively that they are eligible for the office they are seeking. If Richie Smith didn't even show up, there isn't much else the Secretary of State can do except rule Smith is ineligible based on the fact that Richie Smith did not even offer a defense to the challenge of Lamar Brand.

Contrary to what Richie Smith may believe, the Republicans are not at fault. Richie Smith deserves the blame for not showing up and proving that he is eligible to be state Representative from the 151st district.