Cole Out?

David Cole, With His Wife And Attorneys Waits To Address The Commission

In a very tense and sometimes contentious meeting of the Loudon County Election Commission, Lenoir City council candidate, David Cole, was removed from the ballot for the November, Lenoir City election.

Lenoir City attorney, James Scott who had filed the challenge to Cole's qualifications to be on the ballot, was at the meeting to represent the city's position. Loudon Attorney, Joe Ford, was in attendance to represent Mr. Cole. Each side was given the opportunity to make their case to the five member commission.

The question at hand was whether Mr. Cole met the residency requirement in the Lenoir City Charter to be qualified to be on the ballot. The charter requires that a candidate must reside within the corporate limits of the city for one year before the date of the election. The November election will be on the 4th. 

According to Mr. Cole, last year he began building a new home within the city limits. Cole maintained that he began residing in the new home in October of 2013 which would meet the requirements of the charter.

However, according to city attorney Scott and based on a number of documents he provided as evidence to the commission, Mr. Cole did not move into his new home till January of 2014 which would not meet the requirements of the charter. In rebuttal, Mr. Cole disputed Mr. Scotts claims.

Ultimately, the board voted to remove Mr. Cole's name from the ballot. Voting to remove were board members, Betty Brown, David Chote, Jim Davis and Darlene Schrubb. Board member Sue Jane Hartsook abstained.

Director Of Elections, Susan Harrison, warned both parties before and after the hearing that if either planned to appeal the decision of the board in court, they would need to do so immediately due to the timing to get the ballots prepared.

Cole's attorney, Joe Ford, stated after the meeting that he would be filing suit with the chancery court Wednesday morning to appeal the decision of the election commission.