Teen in limbo as she seeks council seat in new DeKalb city

Mary-Pat Hector (Credit: Channel 2 Action News)

Mary-Pat Hector (Credit: Channel 2 Action News)

A 19-year-old woman was told she was qualified to run for a City Council seat in the new DeKalb County city of Stonecrest.

But after a potential opponent emerged, Mary-Pat Hector was told that her age may be an obstacle after all, even though the city charter doesn’t have an age requirement, according to Channel 2 Action News.

The Spelman College student said the news “was heartbreaking, because the same person who told me I was qualified (Voter Registrations and Elections Director Maxine Daniels) was the same person who told me, ‘Oh well, I thought you were qualified, but I'm not really sure.’ ”

A potential opponent, George Turner Jr., filed a complaint challenging Hector’s eligibility.

"I'm not challenging Mary-Pat Hector,” he said in a statement. “I'm challenging the election board to make sure all candidates are qualified to run for office."

A Feb. 9 hearing on the issue is set in Stonecrest, which was voted into existence in November.

“We're good enough to vote in the state of Georgia for elected officials, but we're not good enough to run for these positions that they are also seeking,” Hector said. “And that's heartbreaking to me and I'm sure to other young people in the state of Georgia.”