Saturday, May 10, 2008
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COVINGTON - The Board of Elections has received a second viable challenge to the eligibility of Board of Education District 2 candidate Horace Don Gresham.
Annette Harmon filed a challenge Friday due to Gresham's conviction of sodomy with a boy under 14 years of age in 1988 in DeKalb County.
Georgia Election law states that at least 10 years must have elapsed from the date of completion of a sentence for conviction of a felony involving moral turpitude and qualification to run for elective office.
According to court documents, Gresham was convicted in May 1988. His sentence included one year in prison and 11 years on probation, meaning he would not be eligible to seek office until 2010.
"I think Mr. Gresham's actions certainly fall under the 'moral turpitude' definition as set forth by the State of Georgia," Harmon's challenge states. "Shouldn't we hold our Board of Education candidates to the same high standard that we hold our teachers? Mr. Gresham would also be in a leadership role and visiting schools and students. What kind of message does this send to our children, whether or not they have been sexually abused?"
Gresham's neighbor, Nikkia Lovejoy, also filed a challenge Thursday. A third challenge was filed earlier in the week, but the challenger was not a registered voter in Newton County as required by law.
To file a challenge, a resident must be a registered voter and live in District 2.
The Board of Elections is expected to discuss the challenges at its 2 p.m. Monday board meeting at the Board of Elections Office at 1113 Usher St.
A Board of Elections staff member confirmed Friday that Gresham is a registered Newton County voter. It is illegal in Georgia to vote while serving any sentence imposed by the conviction of a felony. The staff member said additional questions should be directed to Board of Elections Director Donna Morrison, who was out of the office Friday afternoon.
Crystal Tatum can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.