Sec. of State clears Mabra on residency challenge


It looked like Ronnie Mabra might be excluded from the ballot in the three-way race for the new Dist. 63 seat in the Ga. House of Representatives. But Ga. Secretary of State Brian Kemp on Wednesday afternoon reversed a recommendation from the Office of State Administrative Hearings, ruling that Mabra is a qualified candidate for the race.

Administrative Law Judge Stephanie M. Howells with the Office of State Administrative Hearings last week ordered that Mabra’s name be removed from the July 31 ballot because he could not prove he lives in the new district that includes portions of Fayette, Clayton and south Fulton counties. The residency charge was brought by Linda Pritchett, one of the candidates vying for the Dist. 63 seat.

Mabra took issue with Howells’ decision, calling the charges over his residency baseless and maintaining that he would rely on the Secretary of State to resolve the matter.

That resolution came Wednesday afternoon, when Kemp issued a decision in Pritchett vs. Mabra.

“In accordance with the foregoing findings and facts of law, it is hereby decided that Ronald E. “Ronnie” Mabra, is qualified to be a candidate for the Georgia House of Representatives in District 63,” Kemp said.

Mabra was quick to comment on Kemp’s decision.

“I’ve always maintained that these charges were baseless and politically motivated efforts by my opponents to distract the voters. I’m just glad that the Secretary of State and the good people of District 63 saw through their plan and awarded Team Mabra this victory,” Mabra said. While my opponents were on a wild goose chase, I spent every day meeting with residents, raising campaign funds, and offering a positive vision for my community that includes better schools, safer streets and more jobs. After wasting weeks on this distraction, I hope my opponents can finally turn their attention to offering a positive vision for the people of District 63.”

The three-way race for the Dist. 63 seat includes Mabra, Pritchett and T.J. Copeland.