092519_PNN_Dallas_Appeal

The Paulding County Election Board voted to disqualify Dallas mayoral candidate Narda Konchel on Sept. 11 after saying they could not determine she had been a city resident for the required time.

A former Dallas mayoral candidate says she plans to appeal the county election board’s recent action to throw her off the Nov. 5 ballot after upholding a challenge to her city residency.

Narda Konchel posted on her campaign’s Facebook page that she planned to petition through Paulding Superior Court to appeal the board’s unanimous decision Sept. 11 to disqualify her as a candidate for Dallas mayor against incumbent Boyd Austin.

Konchel stated on the Facebook page she was “very optimistic” about the appeal process “and appreciate all of the words of encouragement.”

“When I decided to run for office my team and I knew it would not be easy,” she wrote. “Again, thank you for your continued support as I continue to fight for what is right.”

Konchel must file an appeal by Sept. 21, said Election Supervisor Deidre Holden.

Austin, who is seeking re-election to a seventh term, challenged Konchel’s candidacy by saying she had not satisfied the city charter’s requirements for living in the city and being a registered voter for one year before her qualifying date of Aug. 19, 2019.

The Paulding County Board of Elections and Registration voted to uphold Austin’s challenge and disqualified Konchel.

Board members said they could not determine if she had lived in Dallas for one year because she could not prove she had lived in a commercial building on Main Street in downtown Dallas that had been refurbished to partially include a residential area.

Austin said no one had filed building permits or certificates of occupancy to prove work was done to convert part of the commercial building to a residence.

He said the only proof of Konchel’s residency shown was a postal service change of address and county voter registration documents dated Aug. 29, 2018, which was 10 fewer days than the required one year.

Holden said Konchel said she had a lease to reside in the Main Street building which began Aug. 1, 2018, which is more than the required time.

In addition, Holden said there was disagreement about what the city charter required a mayor needed as proof of being eligible to vote because it requires the mayor to be a “qualified” voter for one year before qualifying as a candidate.

Konchel told a reporter she had indeed lived in the city for more than a year before qualifying and the board of elections “accepted me as a registered voter from my address.”

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