Secretary of State Brian Kemp challenged Taylor’s candidacy. During a hearing Friday before administrative law judge Kimberly W. Schroer, Taylor represented herself and sought to be allowed to qualify in District 40, the district she now lives in, though the judge found no precedence for reopening qualifying for that race.
Morgan has no other opposition and will now likely win a new two-year term. She has been in the Legislature for a decade.
Taylor said she was not aware her district had been changed until she received a yellow postcard in late June from Cobb Elections.
“I was aware they had proposed redistricting. … I’m just surprised the information was released after qualifying,” Taylor said. “It’s just unfortunate.”
Janine Eveler, director of Cobb Elections, said Tuesday that her office had not yet received direction from the state about the disqualification. “Typically we are instructed to put a notice into each of the Absentee Ballot mailing envelopes and to put up notices in the polling places for in-person voters, both advance and election day,” Eveler said.
“The notice will tell voters that votes cast for the disqualified candidate will not be counted.” Morgan said she was surprised Taylor did not live in the district. “Typically checking your residency is one of the first things you do as a candidate, and considering that the maps were passed last August and approved by the Justice Department early in the year,” Morgan said. “With a new precinct in my district, and an opponent, I had to run a full campaign. I appreciated the opportunity to get in front of voters and earn their vote.”
Her top issues are education and quality of life and redevelopment of the Six Flags area, Morgan said. “ Another thing I appreciate about having an opponent is being able to talk about … my significant track record in trying to improve education and the work we’re doing to redevelop and work with families,” Morgan said. “When we have stronger families, we have stronger communities.”
According to Morgan’s June 30 amended campaign finance report, she took in more than $20,000 in donations in the last quarter, and has $13,000 on hand.
Her contributors included the Automobile Retail Dealers of Georgia ($250.12); Pedro Cherry, a Georgia Power vice president, ($200); Coca-Cola ($250); Ga. Association of Convenience Stores ($200); Ga. Association of Realtors ($600); Georgia Dental Association political action committee ($500); Friends of Stacey Evans ($150); Friends of Tommie Williams ($500); Shyam Kumar, executive director of Teach for America metro Atlanta ($250); Barbara Lee, of Massachusetts, whom Morgan described as a major donor for Democratic women across the country, ($1,000); McKenna Long and Aldridge LLP state political action committee ($500); Outdoor Advertising Association of Ga.
($500); PAs for health care Access ($250); The Barnes Law Group LLC ($1,000); Ga. Medical political action committee ($500); and Vote Choice ($500).
Her expenses included the $570 qualifying fee for her husband, David, who is seeking re-election to the Cobb school board in post 3.
Taylor reported contributions totaling nearly $4,000 in the last quarter.
Her donations came from the Atlanta Federation of Teachers ($1,000); the Committee to Reelect Earnest Williams ($1,500); and Alex Taylor, a Maryland pharmacist ($300).
Taylor said the lack of services in southwest Cobb had prompted her to run for office, and that she would seriously consider moving into District 39 before the 2014 elections.
She now lives in District 40, which includes Smyrna. Legislative candidates must live in a district for a year prior to the election.
“The impetus for getting in the race is the condition of southwest Cobb, and the more I learned, the more uncomfortable I became and said ‘someone needs to run,’” Taylor said. “The drive and passion is extremely strong for southwest Cobb. We have some exciting things happening here. I know this area can blossom.”