Sheriff candidate gets more bad news from board - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Sheriff candidate gets more bad news from board

September 1, 2004

< STRONG> Leesburg-- Jimmy Kerfoot was first disqualified as a Republican candidate, because he didn't have the proper paperwork.

Now, 85 of the 86 pages of signatures he collected to get on the November ballot as an Independent were thrown out by the Lee County Board of Elections.

That's because the woman who notarized the petitions also signed a petition as a voter, and that was ruled illegal.

But Kerfoot's quest for Sheriff might not be over yet.

It was similar to a trial, with witnesses, and questions. But it was Lee County Sheriff hopeful Jimmy Kerfoot who had the most to say. "We are looking for the magic number of 547 signatures, lets go where we need to go. We are headed there. Okay, let's go."

Kerfoot has more than enough valid signatures to earn a spot on the ballot, but he says instructions given to him by the Elections Supervisor, Veronica Johnson, were wrong.

 "I followed your peoples' key lady over the elections who instructed me on the day I turned my petitions in," Kerfoot said. "My aunt could sign all the petitions expect the one she signed as a voter."

And that is what Myrtle Parsons did. But, that didn't matter to the board, who by law, had to disqualify the petitions Parsons notarized. "Veronica is not legal consul, she is there to give forms and she will answer questions to the best of her knowledge," Board of Elections Chairman Tommy Thomas.

"From what I understand she is one of the few certified supervisors of elections in Georgia, so if she doesn't know who does?" Kerfoot asked.

After the hearing Kerfoot said, "You know I took advice from the person that you appointed."

Kerfoot confronted the Board members about there decision.  "Now there is 1,200 people who supported me, they have no choice come November 2nd, no choice at all."

A few moments later, Board member Clayton Smith responded to Kerfoot. "You know that makes a good sound bite, that makes a real good sound bite, but let me explain something to you, I am not upset with you, but you are the one that has made it impossible. No sir. Because you didn't do it right when you attempted to qualify as a Republican and you didn't follow the rules on this one."

Not following the rules is exactly why the Board voted to toss out most of Kerfoot's petitions, but Kerfoot says the person who should know the rules best told him wrong.

The Board of Elections stands firmly behind Elections Supervisor Veronica Johnson, calling her work is "top-notch" and saying adamantly that job is not on the line.

Jimmy Kerfoot's quest for the Sheriff position is not over. Kerfoot plans to file paperwork to be a write-in candidate, and he will appeal Wednesday's decision.

posted at 5:50PM by dave.miller@walb.com