by Dan Johnson
Reviewing a record that showed historic inconsistency between enforcement actions and deadline requirements of state and local election officials, Goldin said it would be fundamentally unfair and difficult to justify disallowing Hooks candidacy for the District 33 seat, vacated recently by longtime incumbent Roscoe Dixon, now an aide to Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton..
Goldins action means that the Democratic primary will now be a three-way race between Hooks, state Representative Kathryn Bowers, and James Harvey. A fourth candidate, state Representative Joe Towns, had also been disallowed by the state agencies -- in his case, for failure to pay accumulated fines relating to violation of disclosure requirements -- but Towns did not appeal the finding.Hooks reentry means that Bowers, who doubles as Shelby County Democratic chairman, will have another name candidate to contend with and not just the relatively unknown Harvey. Bowers had called a press conference Monday to deny that she had used her political influence to get Hooks disqualified -- an allegation that Hooks insisted Wednesday he had never made.
I think shes just looking for publicity. I never once thought that or said that. That would make them [the various state officials who signed off on his disqualification] dishonorable. In fact, theyre not. Ive worked with them for many years. They dont have a hard on for Michael Hooks. Theyre just interpreting the law and trying to do their job. One of his first legislative missions, if elected, will be to reconcile discrepancies between the state and local election codes, Hooks said.
I think the judge did the right thing to let the people decide who they want to be their state senator. It wont be determined by nit-picking or hag-nagging. Itll be on the issues, said Hooks. Acknowledging that the delay caused by his litigation had inconvenienced his campaign somewhat, he said, We kept working. Of course, we stopped spending and planning our advertising campaigns and so forth. Well have to catch up.