Thieneman scrambling to gather documents proving residency - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Thieneman scrambling to gather documents proving residency

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It's the last weekend before Tuesday's election, and there is a legal cloud hanging over one of Louisville's hottest races.

Circuit Judge Charles Cunningham was expected to issue a ruling on Friday in a lawsuit challenging whether a state senate candidate is a legal resident of the district he wants to represent.

Instead Cunningham says he needs more information. That means the winner of the race between Republican Chris Thieneman and incumbent Democrat Perry Clark may not be official until well after the election.

In the last days of his run for state senate, Chris Thieneman's attention has been divided between the campaign trail and the courtroom.

Democratic activist Robert Walker has filed a lawsuit challenging Thieneman's residency. Thieneman says he lives in an apartment above a self-storage warehouse he owns on Dixie Highway.

Walker charges that Thieneman actually lives outside District 37, in a condo off Brownsboro Rd.

"It's been a crazy 24 hours," said Thieneman during a news conference today.

Thieneman said he has spent the past 24 hours gathering utility bills and other documents Judge Charles Cunningham says he needs. He believes a ruling is still possible before election day.

"I just wish the judge had asked for it a week ago or a week-and-a-half ago. I didn't know he was going to be asking for this stuff. I would have loved to have given him all this stuff sooner," said Thieneman.

"Chris Thieneman has lived in the district for over a year. He's qualified candidate. I wish the judge would have ruled on Friday or before. But he didn't. He's asked for more information. We're going to get it to him with all deliberate speed," said Thieneman's attorney Jason Nemes.

Incumbent senator Perry Clark was pressing the flesh tonight at a Democratic chili supper. He stands to benefit from the controversy and is not concerned about possible election turmoil.

"I trust the people to understand the difference between these two men, myself and my opponent. I think we're going to be fine at the ballot, and it does not bother me one bit," said Clark.

Thieneman admits the controversy is a distraction that may cost him votes in a tight campaign.

"Is it something that we can overcome? Absolutely. And I really believe that we will overcome it."

Thieneman already won an earlier lawsuit challenging his residency during the primary.

He and his attorney blame Democrats for the timing of this latest suit, which could cloud the election.

Copyright 2012 WDRB News. All Rights Reserved.

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