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Candidate might be out of race before it begins

May 4, 2004

Lee County-- Jimmy Kerfoot did not turn in two necessary documents before the noon deadline for qualifying Friday, although he signed an affidavit saying he did. Now, the incumbent Sheriff wants him disqualified.

Jimmy Kerfoot says he shouldn't be disqualified over what he calls a mix-up.  "I was trying to do everything I could to get it in and I didn't and my hands were tied and I just didn't get it done."

What Kerfoot was trying to do was get a copy of his high school diploma.  "I called Lee County High School and asked them how long will it take to get a copy of my transcript, I need it for qualifying, and they said we can get it in a day. We keep them here, no problem."

Well, it was a problem. The transcript was missing. Still, Kerfoot signed a sworn affidavit on the first day of qualifying that the officers had a copy of his high school transcript as well as his birth certificate, although he says he had his birth certificate, the qualifying officers knew he was having trouble getting his high school diploma. "I signed an affidavit that said I had all the things but I didn't get my fingerprinting done until Thursday and that seemed to be fine too."

But Sheriff Harold Breeden says it is not okay that Kerfoot didn't follow the rules. "He has got to be disqualified by law, that is the way it goes."

Sheriff Breeden wrote a letter calling for Kerfoot's disqualification, saying he doesn't buy the excuse.  "He had 60 days prior to get his paperwork together, you know? I had no problem with mine."

Now, it's up to the Lee County Board of Elections to decide whether Kerfoot will qualify as a Republican.

Jimmy Kerfoot says if he is disqualified as a Republican, he will qualify as an independent and run in the November. In order to get on the ballot as an independent, Kerfoot needs to get 500 signatures from registered Lee County voters. The election hearing is 9:00AM Thursday.

posted at 6:10PM by dave.miller@walb.com

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