Senate candidate sues to get opponent off ballot
State Rep. Jamilah Nasheed doesn’t live in the 5th Senate District and shouldn’t be allowed to compete in the Democratic primary, state Sen. Robin Wright-Jones alleges in a lawsuit filed this week in the St. Louis Circuit Court.
Nasheed confirmed in a telephone interview Thursday that her residence is in the 4th District but said Article III, Section 6 of the Missouri Constitution gives her the right to run against Wright-Jones in the 5th District race because most of her district was swallowed up by Wright-Jones’ district in the Senate reapportionment.
“She’s afraid of opposition,” Nasheed said. “I think she needs to focus more of her time and energy on getting her ethics violation in order.”
In at least one of the early redistricting maps, Nasheed’s home was in the 5th District. As she sees it, Wright-Jones “got to someone on the redistricting commission, and she had them draw my block out of the 5th, back into the 4th.”
An interactive Senate redistricting map on Secretary of State Robin Carnahan’s website shows the difference in boundaries between the various versions of the map.
If Wright-Jones’ lawsuit is successful, her only opponent will be Rep. Jeanette Mott Oxford, who was first elected to the Missouri House in 2004.
Wright-Jones did not return a telephone call seeking comment by press time. She is represented by Elbert A. Walton Jr., of Metro Law Firm, in St. Louis. He did not return a telephone call seeking comment by press time.
The senator sued another primary opponent when she first ran for the 5th District Senate seat in 2008. That time the defendant was Connie Johnson, who had served in the Missouri House for eight years before running for state Senate.
In that case, a special judge concluded Johnson did not meet the requirement of living in the district for one year before the election. Judge Douglas E. Long Jr. found that she rented a home in the district to others and was living in a second home outside the district for at least part of that time.
A preliminary hearing in Wright-Jones’ lawsuit against Nasheed is scheduled for Monday.