The Hamilton County Election Commission (HCEC) has recently had to consider three cases of candidates for Mayor of Chattanooga and the City Council being challenged as to whether they were qualified to run for public office because they may not have satisfied the requirement of being a city resident.
Monty Bruell unsuccessfully challenged Monty Bell’s registered residence of the Community Kitchen on East 11th Street while Dennis Clark was able to force LaDarius Price off the ballot for the District 5 seat on the City Council. Candidate Michelle Peterson voluntarily withdrew from the City Mayor race when she admitted that she had filed her petition to run with incorrect residency information.
Cartoonist Bruce Bledsoe in his 1981 book of cartoons “Growin Pains” pictorially pointed out that the 2020-2021 challenges on the same issue of residency was not novel to Chattanooga and Hamilton County elections.
Present Hamilton County Attorney since 1993 Rheubin McGhee Taylor previously was challenged in one of his races for public office on the grounds that he owned two houses and was living outside of the district for the office he was seeking. Bruce Bledsoe in his 1981 book pointed out not only Rheubin but also fellow Hamilton County Commissioner Jack Mayfield’s ownership of multiple residences.
The Hamilton County Election Commission (HCEC) ruled in Rheubin M. Taylor’s favor and he was allowed to run for public office and was elected.
The cartoon caption said, "Rheubin Taylor is only half the man that Jack Mayfield is when it comes to multi-residences. He only has two - one where he lives, another in his district."