Today, the race for House District 139 turned into a battle in an Atlanta Courtroom. Dr. Anissa Jones filed a complaint at the state capital challenging Dr. James Beverly's residence in the district. Jones says she never wanted to use this challenge as a campaign tactic.
"My whole thing was to have an integral, amicable, honest race. You run your race, I'll run mine, let the best person win."
That's what it was until about a week ago. Both candidates say they never intended for this race to turn into political theater.
"I got a letter, and I thought, huh, this is interesting, and I was pretty shocked, but one of the things that I actually realized was that this could actually turn into a gotcha moment, where people are like, I got this, I got that, and I thought well this is not the type of politics I am going to run," says Beverly.
He's referring to the complaint filed by Jones. It called for a hearing to determine whether or not Beverly really lives in District 139. An on-going separation has left Beverly with two homes, but he says he lives in the district on Chestnut Street.
"I'm separated, and my family lives out there and I live in town next to my office, and that's all, and I pay for the mortgage out there and my family's out there but I live downtown."
Jones says she never would have questioned his residency if hers wasn't called to the forefront by Beverly supporter and state representative Nikki Randall.
"She said, um, we're looking into your, you know residency, and I totally assumed that as we, when she told me she was working on his campaign that, it was the campaign that's looking into it," says Jones.
Randall admits she supports Beverly, but she's not part of his campaign team, and she didn't confront Jones about her residency.
"What perplexes me is that if I said that, and Dr. Beverly's campaign was interested in looking into her residency, then why is it that she filed a residency charge against him? I think something's really wrong with that story."
Both candidates showed proof of their residency. A final decision on Dr. Beverly's qualification will be made tomorrow by noon.