Residency question sparks Rankin House candidate controversy - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Residency question sparks Rankin House controversy

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Rodney Keith, a supporter of Lum's opponent Brent Powell, claims Lum hasn't lived in Rankin County for the required two years and voted in Hinds county as recently as 2011. Rodney Keith, a supporter of Lum's opponent Brent Powell, claims Lum hasn't lived in Rankin County for the required two years and voted in Hinds county as recently as 2011.
RANKIN COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

With less than a week to go until the special election to fill a Rankin County state House seat, there could be a challenge. The seat was vacated when Republican Kevin McGee resigned over an ethics violation.

"Made sure before I ran that I qualified as a resident. The State Board of Election Commissioners qualified me as a resident and I am a resident of Rankin County," said candidate Bradley Lum.

Rodney Keith, a supporter of Lum's opponent Brent Powell, claims Lum hasn't lived in Rankin County for the required two years and voted in Hinds county as recently as 2011. 

Keith said in a written statement, "I don't want to see our House District represented by someone with recorded claims of being a Hinds County resident, nor do I want someone representing me in the office that makes laws and according to past acts would turn a blind eye when it's for his own convenience."

But Lum says there's a good explanation for why he voted in Hinds County in 2011.

"I was living in Rankin County and voted in Hinds County based on the fact that I was told by the Hinds County Republican party that not only did they need me to work the polls, but that that was ok for me to be registered in Hinds County because I was a student at Mississippi College," said Lum.

Lum adds he bought his home in Flowood in August of 2010 but he had not yet moved his registration.

"If he wants to say we're the ones at fault, maybe we are. Maybe he should've said...'I want to claim this because two years from now I want to say I was a Rankin County Resident. I don't want to say I was a Hinds County Resident'," said Pete Perry, Hinds County Republican Party Chairman.

Perry said he told Lem that one must be a registered Hinds County voter to work and didn't ask further questions.

"I wish in retrospect that we knew what we know now. We probably would've had a deeper and longer conversation with him about it," explained Perry.

No challenge has been filed at this time.

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