After Bibb County election officials shot down a challenge to Al Tillmans candidacy for the Macon-Bibb County Commission last week, Macon City Councilman Henry Gibson vowed to appeal.
He made good on that promise Thursday, filing for an injunction in Bibb County Superior Court.
Gibson filed a complaint earlier this month claiming that Tillman isnt a legal resident of District 9, the seat Tillman is vying for against Council President James Timley.
Gibson, whos supporting Timley, contends that since Tillman filed for a homestead tax exemption on property in District 8, thats the district Tillman legally lives in, thus nullifying his candidacy for District 9.
The Bibb County Board of Elections sided with Tillman last week in a 4-0 vote.
Gibson called the hearing a joke.
Board of elections members said that the law, including a 2008 Georgia Supreme Court case, made it clear that the homestead exemption alone could not determine Tillmans place of residency.
Tillman also supplied the board with a car registration, power bills, bank statements and a lease agreement showing that he lived at an apartment complex in District 9.
A portion of Gibsons letter, dated Aug. 27, read: I hearby appeal the decision of the Board of Elections on my challenge of determining residence and qualification of candidate Al Tillman for the Macon-Bibb Commission. He gave a copy of the letter to the elections board and delivered a copy to the court Thursday afternoon.
Tillman said he didnt think Gibson would prevail.
They dont have a chance and they know they dont have a chance, Tillman said. Theyre still trying to disqualify me from running. ... The Justice Department already said you can move in a district a day before qualifying.
They have not been this energized to fight crime, poverty as they are fighting against me, Tillman added.
Gibson said the law stating that a resident need only live in a district for a day was added by Republicans so they can unseat candidates in the upcoming election.
That law was done by (state Rep.) Allen Peake for Al Tillman, Gibson said. The law previously said homestead exemption is where your residence is.
A majority of people in District 9 dont like whats going on, he added. I want my day in court before voters go to the polls.
As for voters who have already hit the polls, Gibson said, thats the (election) boards problem. A judge can throw that out.
To contact writer Harold Goodridge, call 744-4382.