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Judge rules in favor of Browning in Superintendent race-UPDATED

UPDATE: 9-15-2015:

Judge Gregory has presented his written order in Roger’s Browning’s motion for placement on the November ballot. For complete details, see NAnewsweb article

UPDATE: 9-14-2015, 7:20PM:

By the close of business Monday, the circuit clerk had not received the court’s written order to put Roger Browning’s name on the Nov. 3 ballot.

Word came down before noon Monday, Sept. 14, that Circuit Judge John Gregory had ruled in Browning’s favor. In such instances the lawyer for the winning side has the responsibility of drafting a proposed order for the judge’s approval. Browning’s attorney, James O’Donnell of Oxford, is understood to have submitted a draft order to Judge Gregory, but the judge had not signed the formal order and sent it to Circuit Clerk Phyllis Stanford by 5 p.m.

Until the wording of the order is approved and signed by the court, it is not known what specific action the circuit clerk will be instructed to take in the matter.

Browning was unopposed for the Republican nomination for Union County Superintendent of Education, but the non-partisan Union County Election Commission ruled his name could not go on the general election ballot because he does not live in the Union County school district.

The circuit clerk expect to receive a written order tomorrow, Tuesday, Sept. 15th

 

A judge has ruled in favor of Republican candidate Roger Browning’s motion to be placed on the November ballot for the office of Union County school superintendent.

The Union County Circuit Clerk’s office informed NAnewsweb.com late Monday morning of the ruling by Circuit Judge John Gregory. The clerk’s office said a written order from Judge Gregory had not been received at that time, but is expected sometime today.

Browning had no Republican opponent and thus, inevitably, won his party’s nomination for school superintendent at the Aug. 4th primary.

However, it was discovered that Browning does not live in the Union County School District, but lives instead in the New Albany Separate School District. Browning has stated that he did not know that he did not live in the county district.

The non-partisan Union County Election Commission ruled after the primary that Browning was not qualified to serve in the job because he does not live in the school district. A federal judge had ruled several years ago that only people who live in the Union County School District may vote in elections for county school offices, and the election commission held that he could not serve in an office for which he cannot vote.

Browning challenged the election commission’s ruling in a hearing last Thursday before Circuit Judge Gregory. Our understanding is that the court was asked to resolve an apparent conflict between the federal judge’s order and Mississippi law.

Browning said in press release today, “I am grateful for Judge Gregory’s ruling in my favor that will afford me the opportunity to continue the journey to the general election in November that I began back in January.”

Browning also told NAnewsweb.com, “There is an appeal process to the ruling, so I will be guarded with my words for a few days.”

Incumbent County Superintendent Ken Basil, a two-term Democrat, said he will appeal the ruling.

Basil said in a statement to NAnewsweb.com, “We do not have official confirmation of the outcome of the hearing from last week.  We believe that the law supports our position that a person who is not a resident of the Union County School District cannot vote for or run for Union County Superintendent of Education.  We expect that the Mississippi Supreme Court will agree with our position.”

As information becomes available with the exact text of Judge Gregory’s order or with specific information about any appeal it will be reported first on NAnewsweb.com

Questions or comments about this article can be shared publicly via the Comments section below, or anonymously via the NAnewsweb T.C.B. PAGE.

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