Western Mass. Senate Candidate Challenging Opponent’s Residency
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — State Senate Candidate and Springfield City Councilor Tim Allen is taking issue with one of his opponent’s residency.
Allen is filing an objection with the state’s Ballot Law Commission, claiming that Eric Lesser has not lived in Massachusetts long enough to qualify to run for Senate.
State law requires candidates live in the state for at least five consecutive years preceding the election.
Allen claims that Lesser has reportedly spent part of his time in both Washington, DC and Cambridge in the past three years.
“The Constitution defines what an inhabitant is, and an inhabitant is where a person dwells. It’s not where they vote,” says Allen.
But Lesser maintains he’s kept a permanent residence at his family’s home in Longmeadow, Mass. and that he votes in Massachusetts.
“I’m not surprised by it, trying to kick somebody off the ballot, trying to bully somebody out of the election is the reason people are sick of politics right now,” says Lesser.
Now, the Massachusetts Ballot Law Commission will decide who’s right.
“Whoever wins this primary in September will be going against a strong Republican. We want to make sure anybody who wins meets the eligibility requirements set out in the Constitution,” says Allen.
Lesser says the people should have the final say at the ballot box.
“This is the community I’ve grown up in, I want to stay in, and it’s the community I’m dedicated to serving, so I think the voters and taxpayers in this district make this decision not the lawyers,” says Lesser.
The commission will hold a hearing on the issue sometime in June with a decision having to be made by June 20.