Court Of Appeals Dismisses Lawsuit Brought By State Democrats On Robin Smith Race

Friday, February 21, 2020

The Tennessee Court of Appeals has upheld Hamilton County Chancellor Jeff Atherton's dismissal of a lawsuit brought by state Democrats seeking to keep Republican Robin Smith off the ballot for the House District 26 race.

Chancellor Atherton acted in September 2018, and the Appeals Court ruled this week. It said the issue was moot since Ms. Smith won and has been serving.  

Democrats had claimed that longtime Rep. Gerald McCormick's late withdrawal from the race was invalid. He said his employer was requiring that he take a new position in Nashville.

Rep. McCormick and his wife, Kim, earlier bought a house in Nashville and put their home in Middle Valley up for sale. 

The Appeals Court said, "Political party filed suit against the county election commission and the State election coordinator requesting injunctive relief to prevent a county election commission from allowing a replacement for a candidate in another party’s primary election for the office of state representative who had withdrawn from the race after the qualifying deadline; the plaintiff party also sought a declaration that the withdrawal of the original candidate did not allow for a replacement under the circumstances presented.

"The primary election ensued, and the replacement candidate advanced to the general election; thereafter, the trial court denied the injunction and granted the defendants’ motions to dismiss the action. After the appeal was filed but before argument, the general election was held and the other party’s candidate was elected. We have determined that this case is moot and, accordingly, dismiss the appeal; we deny the request for damages for a frivolous appeal."



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