ELECTION 2022:  Scope of administrative hearing limited to whether Public Service Commission candidate met statutory and constitutional requirements for office  

Topic: Elections, Decided by: Judge Barnes 
Docket Number: 2225324 , Decision Date: May 20, 2022 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision on appeal. 

Patty Durand, a candidate for the District 2 seat in the Public Service Commission, faced a challenge to her candidacy on the grounds that she did not meet the residency requirement.  At the hearing, Ms. Durand argued that text communications between existing commissioners showed they had deliberately sought to cut Ms. Durand out of District 2 while revising the District maps.  In its decision, the Court held that the scope of the administrative hearing was limited to whether Ms. Durand met the qualifications for residency, which she did not.  However, Ms. Durand’s arguments that her constitutional rights had been violated were preserved for appeal.

Update as of 8/22/2022:  On judicial review, a judge for the Superior Court of Fulton County held Ms. Durand is qualified to be a candidate for the Public Service Commission, after concluding the residency requirement, as applied to this case, was unconstitutional.  See the link above for the superior court’s Final Order.

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