Sheriff candidate disqualified -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Sheriff candidate disqualified

March 6, 2004

Lee County-- A candidate for the Lee County Sheriff's race is denied a spot on the Republican ballot.

The Lee County Board of Elections ruled Thursday morning that Jimmy Kerfoot did not qualify since his paperwork was incomplete by the noon deadline Friday. Now, the long-time Sheriff will run unopposed in July, but it's likely he will still face opposition in November.

It took just a few minutes of discussion for the Lee County Board of Elections to come to a unanimous decision: Jimmy Kerfoot is off the Republican ballot.  Board Chairman Tommy Thomas says,  "My biggest problem is the fact that he had three times recieved this affidavit and never took the time to read it.  He had it for at least six weeks if not longer, and he never took the time to read the affidavit that he was signing."

Kerfoot responds, "They didn't really make it important or imperative that I read them because I was going to get them at qualifying time anyway.  So, I just waited to make sure everything was done at qualifying time."

Kerfoot signed a sworn affidavit on the first day of qualifying, stating that his paperwork was complete. But, it wasn't-- his high school diploma was missing.

Kerfoot's attorney argued that his client tried to the best of his abilities to obtain a copy of his diploma.  Attorney Lewis Lamb says, "In this case, I don't think there is any doubt he made a reasonable effort. I mean he spent a week--he made 10, 12, 14 trips to the high school--to come up with a piece of paper certifying that he graduated, when he is a college graduate and offered them a copy of his college diploma."

But, a college diploma is not what is required. While Kerfoot lost his chance to go up against long-time Sheriff Harold Breeden in the July Republican Primary, he promises it's not over yet, "We are going to battle at the polls. It is going to come down to him meeting me at the polls, either as an Independent, or as a Republican July 20th in the primary."

They only way Kerfoot will win a spot on the July 20th ballot is through Superior Court and he says that is his next stop.

Sheriff Harold Breeden says he is not bothered by opposition and believes the voters will continue to support him.

Posted at 4:11 p.m. by