Rep. Vince Dean said he obtained an opinion from the state attorney general's office that he can stay in the Legislature while campaigning for sheriff.
Rep. Dean said if he is chosen as the Republican sheriff nominee on March 27, he will continue as the House District 30 representative until the Aug. 7 election.
He said, if he gets the GOP sheriff nod, he would not qualify for another term in the Legislature, leaving that seat open. East Ridge Mayor Mike Steele said he is interested in the post.
Rep. Dean said he does not believe the County Commission would step in to appoint a House District 30 representative for the brief time between the August and November elections.
He noted the General Assembly is not in session then, and the appointee would have little to do.
"I think they would let the voters decide in November," he said.
Rep. Dean said the period when he will campaign for sheriff (if he gets the nomination) is a slack time in the Legislature.
An old state law says no member of the General Assembly can be “nominated or commissioned” to be sheriff. The opinion says that "is best read as referring to the final selection of a sheriff by qualified voters and not the nomination of a candidate for sheriff by a political party."