Rep. Justin Jones to stay on ballot after Republican candidate challenges validity of his qualifying petition

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – State Rep. Justin Jones (D-Nashville) will stay on the ballot after a Republican candidate challenged the validity of the signatures on his qualifying petition to run once more for the Tennessee General Assembly.

Republican candidate for District 52, Laura Nelson, led the push to have Jones eliminated.

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Tennessee regulation requires candidates up for a House seat to have 25 signatures on the qualifying petition of registered voters who live within the district. Nelson’s proof included poking holes in Jones’ petition, alleging three of the names didn’t match their signatures.

Jones and several other of his supporters confirmed up to Thursday’s Metro Election Commission assembly whereas commissioners debated whether or not to settle for the signatures.

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“I don’t so much have an issue with [two of the signatures]. The initials they used are very similar to those corresponding letters in the name on their registration documents…my problem in a major way, quite frankly, is with [one woman’s signature], and it relates not only to her signature, but to the printed part of it,” Commissioner Will Burns stated throughout Thursday’s assembly.

“I would just point out that my signature is actually also just initials because ‘Tricia Herzfeld’ is really long to write, the F and the Z…and if you look at the minutes that I just signed – I’m the secretary, so I have to sign the minutes – if you look at every single one of them, you can’t read my signature. It is literally a ‘T, scribble, H, scribble, and like that’s my signature,” Commissioner Tricia Herzfeld added.

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In the tip, the fee voted to settle for all 25 signatures.

Nelson and Jones will compete for District 52’s seat within the November elections.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to WKRN News 2.

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