Sheriff's late withdrawal from ballot triggers 'Anti-Skullduggery Act'

APRIL 13– Sheriff Sammy Davidson’s last-minute withdrawal from the race for Hardin County sheriff has triggered a little-known law called the “Anti-Skullduggery Act of 1991.”

The act is intended to address situations where popular incumbents file to run for office and then withdraw too late for anyone else to file for the same race, deterring competitors and paving the way for the incumbent’s preferred candidate. It requires the Administrator of Elections to re-open the qualifying deadline for that race for seven days.

Davidson, who could not be reached for comment despite repeated efforts over two days, withdrew from the Aug. 2 ballot at about 11:45 a.m. Thursday, just a quarter hour before the noon withdrawal deadline.

The race to be the county’s next sheriff as it stands now, is between Sgt. Johnny Alexander, a veteran Hardin County deputy sheriff, and T.J. Barker, a veteran investigator with the Savannah Police Department.

Because of the Anti-Skullduggery Act, however, qualified persons interested in running potentially have one more opportunity.

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