Gresham yet to see challenge

COVINGTON - The Board of Elections has received an e-mail challenging the eligibility of Board of Education District 2 candidate Horace Don Gresham, but the challenger is not a registered voter in the district, as required by law.

Board of Elections Director Donna Morrison said Wednesday that, according to state law, only registered voters residing in District 2 may challenge Gresham's candidacy.

A challenge must be submitted in writing within two weeks of the close of qualifying, which was Friday.

The challenger must state why he or she believes the candidate is not qualified to seek office.

Following the filing of a challenge, the elections superintendent must notify the candidate and set an evidentiary hearing. If the election superintendent finds the challenge is valid, he or she may strike the candidate's name from the ballot.

Morrison said any challenges filed this week will be discussed at the Board of Elections regular meeting at 2 p.m. Monday at the Board of Elections Office in the Newton County Administrative Building at 1113 Usher St.

The Board of Elections received a challenge Tuesday night via e-mail from Dennis Horion, founder of Adopt-A-Horse Inc., a nonprofit organization that assists victims of sexual abuse.

Horion is not a registered voter in Newton County, Morrison said.

Gresham was convicted in DeKalb County of sodomy involving a boy under 14 years of age in 1988.

State election law requires that a period of 10 years must have elapsed between completion of the sentence for a conviction of a felony involving "moral turpitude" and qualification to seek elective office.

According to the court documents, Gresham was convicted in May 1988; his sentence, including one year in prison and 11 years on probation, would have ended in 2000, meaning he would not be eligible to seek office until 2010.

Gresham said Tuesday he has no plans to drop out of the race.

Crystal Tatum can be reached at crystal.tatum@newtoncitizen.com.