September 11, 2006
Monday night saw a setback for mayoral candidate Ronnie Few and his supporters.
The Richmond County Board of Elections decided they will hear two challenges filed against Few.
Quite a crowd showed up to the Board of Elections meeting.
It was standing room only as people packed in to support mayoral candidate Ronnie Few.
"Ronnie Few is the best man for the job," said supporter Jimmy Lockhart. "If he be mayor he will do the city justice, no one else will do it."
But Few may not get a chance to run for the job.
The Board of Elections decided they will hear from two Ronnie Few challengers, who say Few has not lived in Augusta long enough.
"This willy nilly of living here and voting there, this stuff is over. We find out about it and we're bringing it to the board's attention," said government watchdog Woody Merry.
Merry and Melanie Roberson Roy's challenge against Few will be heard.
The two say Few is not eligible to run for mayor because of a homestead exemption form filed on April 11 of this year giving Few a tax break for a home in Columbia County.
Under Georgia law, "If a homestead exemption has been claimed, It shall be deemed the person's residence."
"If you declare a homestead exemption, that's where you live, it's real cut and dry," said Merry's attorney, Joe Neal. "It's black and white."
Few left the meeting refusing to comment, but his campaign released a statement on his behalf.
"The law is the law. He resides in Richmond county and he votes in Richmond county, and in regards to the document, the law is the law."
The board of elections scheduled the hearing for next Thursday afternoon.
One interesting detail from tonight is the fact that Ronnie Few's name may still appear on the ballot because of a time crunch in getting them to the printer. But Lynn Bailey says if this happens, notices will be posted for voters letting thme know that Few was disqualified.
Board member Tim mosses, who worked for Deke Copenhaver's campaign, abstained from the vote at the request of the mayor, in hopes of avoiding any political controversy.