The Clarion-Ledger reported a Rankin County resident challenged the qualifications of Bradley Lum in the upcoming election to replace District #59 Representative Kevin McGee. The newspaper reported:
Bradley Lum, a candidate for a special election to fill a Rankin County state House seat, faces a challenge that he doesn’t meet residency requirements.
Rodney Keith, a supporter of one of Lum’s opponents, Brent Powell, said he will file by the end of this week a formal challenge of Lum’s candidacy. He said he is filing the challenge on his own, not for Powell’s campaign.
The election for the state House District 59 race is Jan. 8 to fill the seat vacated by former Rep. Kevin McGee over ethics violations. Lum, Powell and Scot Allen, all Republicans, and Benny L. Hubbard, independent, are running for the seat.
The state Constitution requires a candidate be a resident for two years of the legislative district for which he seeks office. Lum said he bought his home in Flowood in August 2010.
But records show Lum voted twice in August 2011 in Hinds County and that he served as a poll worker there, claiming Hinds County residency. The House District 59 seat for which he is running serves the Reservoir area of Rankin County and parts of Flowood and Brandon.
Lum said he voted in Hinds County and worked the polls at the request of, and on the advice of, Hinds County Republican Party officials. He said that, at the time, he was a law school student at Mississippi College in Hinds County, and that he didn’t closely look at the documents he signed to vote and work the polls, which appear to include affidavit-type documents stating he was a Hinds resident.
“It’s a sad day when fellow Republicans go after each other for stuff like this,” Lum said. “It’s not an issue. It’s simply trying to stir stuff up in the last week of the campaign. … I was told that because I was a student, I could vote and work the polls. …
“I was trying to help the Republican Party and help protect the votes (in Hinds County). I may have been too naive. I agreed to work the polls and got the signing documents and didn’t look over them, not thinking at the time I would be running for office.”
Lum, 29, is a former teacher and coach in the Rankin County School District, and a former baseball coach and academic coordinator at Hinds Community College. He is a partner at Guardian Elite management company and plans to finish his law degree in February at Mississippi College.
Lum said that, shortly after voting in Hinds in 2011, he registered to vote in Rankin County, in October of that year. He said he gave election officials proof of his residency in Flowood.
“At the end of the day, I’ve been a Rankin County resident for the required amount of time,” Lum said. “This is the type of negative politics people are tired of. They want to use this against me because they can’t find anything else negative to say.”
In a written statement Keith said, “When I first heard that Bradley Lum might become a candidate for this seat, I caught wind that he was a resident in Hinds County and had worked there as a poll worker in 2011. After investigating his record, I also found that he voted in August 2011 by absentee ballot, twice. And to do that, he signed sworn statements that he was a resident of Hinds County. …
“I don’t want to see our House district represented by someone with recorded claims of being a Hinds County resident, nor do I want someone representing me in the office that makes laws and according to past acts would turn a blind eye when it’s for his own convenience.”