Judge to rule Friday whether state senate candidate is legal res - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Judge to rule Friday whether state senate candidate is legal resident

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A judge says he will rule Friday on a lawsuit that could determine the outcome of a tight state senate race in Jefferson County.

The question is how long Republican Chris Thieneman has legally lived in the district he wants to represent.

Thieneman is challenging incumbent Democrat Perry Clark, and he insists that raw politics is what's behind this lawsuit.

Chris Thieneman says he lives is an apartment above a self-storage warehouse he owns on Dixie Highway.

But a suit filed by Democratic activist Robert Walker claims that Thieneman, if he does indeed live in the apartment, has not lived there for the one-year required by law before he can run for state senate.

Attorney Jennifer Moore says a voter registration form signed by Thieneman proves he lived in a Dixie Highway motel outside District 37 and moved into the warehouse less than one year ago.

"On November the 8, 2011, Mr. Thieneman swore under oath that he resided outside the 37th district. He's now trying to tell this court that he didn't live there. That he voted somewhere he didn't actually reside. If that's true, which I don't believe that it is, then he committed voter fraud," Moore argued before Circuit Judge Charles Cunningham.

Thieneman's lawyer noted that a judge ruled in a previous lawsuit filed before the May primary that Thieneman was a legal resident. He disputed any evidence suggesting Thieneman's legal residence was a motel room.

"This was a mistake. He didn't live there. His testimony is that he stayed there for two nights. He didn't live there. Never did," argued Jason Nemes.

Judge Charles Cunningham says he'll rule on Friday.

But Thieneman says the suit, which he says is politically motivated, may already be costing him votes.

"Oh yeah. They're saying, 'What's going on? What's going on?' I think the cloud, as long as it's over my head, is always going to be questioned," said Thieneman.

"I think that the issue is, look, is the person qualified? Does he live in the district. That's the issue. And it's not about anything else other than that," said Moore.

Regardless of which side wins, there will be emergency appeal. The question is whether any final ruling can come before election day on Tuesday.

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