A Cobb County resident has filed a challenge questioning the qualifications of one of three candidates running for Cobb superior court clerk.
The challenge charges that Joan P. Davis should be disqualified to run because she filed her campaign information listing the same person as her potential chief deputy clerk as another candidate also seeking the clerk’s job. Although the chief deputy clerk is not an elected position, clerk candidates are required by election rules to disclose their selection for the job if they are eventually elected to the top spot.
Davis listed current deputy Elva Dornbusch as her deputy selection, but Dornbusch, who currently holds that position with the court, never agreed to be part of her ticket and is supporting and already listed on candidate John Skelton's ticket, Dornbusch said. Listing Dornbusch as Davis’ appointee without her consent or support constitutes a fraud upon the electorate, according to the challenge filed by attorney Alan Manheim on behalf of east Cobb resident Barry Schwartz.
Davis disputes the challenge, saying her selection of Dornbusch was to keep continuity in the clerk’s office.
“I contacted [Dornbusch] and she indicated that she was supporting [Skelton]. From my position I wasn’t looking for support,” Davis said. “To me, I didn’t see any problem if all three people running for the seats said they would like to continue with Ms. Dornbusch.”
The challenge also charges that Davis should be disqualified because she listed lawyer as her occupation on campaign filing documents.
Davis was disbarred by the state Supreme Court earlier this year for failing to adequately represent a client in court, but still taking the client’s fee and refusing to return it. Because she was disbarred during the qualifying period last month and couldn’t practice law in the state, listing lawyer as her job also misleads voters, the challenge claims.
But her years of law school, law degree and qualifications to practice law in three other states still qualify her as a lawyer, Davis said.
The county’s election board will hold a hearing on the case Monday at the elections office in Marietta.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.