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House District 10 challenge now at Alabama Supreme Court

Rep. David Cole’s attorneys have filed a brief with the ALSC asking it to move the challenge completely out of Madison County Circuit Court.

David Cole

A challenge to David Cole’s election as House District 10 representative has now moved to the Alabama Supreme Court. 

Cole’s attorneys on Tuesday filed a 97-page brief with the court, asking that it intervene to stop a Madison County Circuit Court judge from managing the initial processes of the challenge before it moves to the Alabama Legislature to be decided. It also asked that the challenge be stayed until the Supreme Court issues a ruling. 

In the filing, Cole argues that the court has no authority in the matter and that it should be handled in its entirety by the legislature. 

Madison County Judge Ruth Ann Hall ruled against Cole’s motion to dismiss on the same grounds, and indicated during a hearing on the matter that she believes state law provides some role for the court to manage the taking of written depositions and settling disputes between the parties. 

Both Cole and Elijah Boyd, a Libertarian candidate who filed the challenge against Cole, have agreed that the House of Representatives will ultimately decide the challenge. 

That challenge centers on Cole’s residency, and the fact that the home in which he and his family appear to live does not sit inside District 10. Instead, under new boundaries drawn after the 2020 reapportionment, Cole’s home was moved from District 10 and into District 4. 

APR first reported on the issues with Cole’s residency, citing tax records and other documents provided by sources. Those documents show that Cole used the address of a family friend when filing to run for office. His campaign told APR that Cole “leased space” from the friend and that Cole’s family of five moved into the four-bedroom home with the friend and his wife two days prior to the one-year filing deadline in order to meet residency requirements. 

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Cole and his family have been observed coming and going from their District 4 home on numerous occasions since that time, and the home appears to be well lived in. 

To date, tax records show that Cole still owns the home and does not own a residence in District 10. His campaign did provide APR with an apartment lease that was entered into by Cole and his wife last fall, well after the filing deadline. 

Josh Moon is an investigative reporter and featured columnist at the Alabama Political Reporter with years of political reporting experience in Alabama. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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