April 12, 2017, Marietta: Kay Kirkpatrick participates in a debate for the open state Senate seat that was held by Judson Hill at the East Cobb Library on Wednesday, April 12, 2017, in Marietta. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

Cobb County Elections Board throws out case against Kirkpatrick

The Cobb County Board of Elections and Registration voted to deny a challenge against Kay Kirkpatrick’s eligibility for state Senate.

A complaint was filed with the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office Monday that alleged she used a different name other than her legal name to run for office.

According to online records, the Republican and retired hand surgeon previously used the name Kay Kirkpatrick Haltom, including her married surname, but when she filed for office, she dropped Haltom.

Members of the Board discussion their decision in executive session and did not disclose opinions in rejecting the challenge.

“Plain language of the law is clear that Dr. Kirkpatrick is qualified to be a candidate within the voter registration rules,” said Kirkpatrick’s lawyer Vincent Russo. “There appears to be nothing more than political gamesmanship motivated by this case.”

Kirkpatrick is a top candidate in the race in state Senate District 32, which Judson Hill vacated earlier this year. He’s running in the 6th Congressional District special election to replace Tom Price, who resigned from the U.S. House to become President Donald Trump’s health secretary. Both special elections are set for April 18.

With more than $96,000 in cash donations and another $174,000 reported in February, Kirkpatrick has raised the most of any of the eight candidates in the race for the open seat representing east Cobb and Sandy Springs.

Kirkpatrick was not present at the hearing, but sent a statement to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“I commend the Cobb County Board of Elections for their quick action in dismissing this frivolous complaint by one of my opponents,” the statement reads. “I am happy it is no longer a distraction from the issues important to voters.”

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