Zeph Baker cleared to run for mayor of Columbus after opponent challenges residency

Beth Harris (Source: WTVM)
Beth Harris (Source: WTVM)

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Mayoral Candidate Zeph Baker was asked to prove that he lives in the city of Columbus during an afternoon residency hearing involving the Muscogee County Elections Board.

Baker's opponent, Beth Harris, filed a complaint with the Muscogee County Elections Board challenging Baker to prove he lives in Columbus.

"All of these items prove I live and have lived in Columbus for the past 40 years," said Baker discussing the utility bills he provided.

Baker showed utility statements for board members including water and power bills, along with a paycheck statement listing the address of his residence off of Victory Drive in Columbus.

Baker also discussed his voting history and pointed out that he has voted numerous times in Muscogee County for elections.

Baker explained that his businesses are Columbus as well.

There was a  vote against the decision, but the board ultimately cleared Baker to run in the 2018 Columbus Mayoral Election.

"The audacity to use taxpayers dollars to advance personal political campaign strategy is unethical and unbecoming of someone aspiring to be an elected official," said Baker in a statement following the hearing. "My opponents needed only to knock on the door to avoid this circus and save taxpayers money."

We reached out to mayoral candidate Harris for a comment and response to the board's decision to clear Baker. We're waiting for a response.

The mayoral election is set for May 22.

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