Donna Tompkins wins appeal to run for Muscogee Co. Sheriff

Published: May. 21, 2016 at 3:18 AM EDT|Updated: May. 21, 2016 at 3:36 AM EDT
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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - With the deadline to vote in local elections fast approaching, one candidate in the race for Muscogee County's Sheriff is back on the ballot. 

A judge has ruled to reinstate Donna Tompkins as a candidate after the county election board disqualified her for failing to file her qualification paperwork on time. 

Tompkins, who filed to run as a Democrat in the upcoming primary, told WTVM she expected the judge to rule in her favor, as another candidate had just won his appeal to remain on the ballot.

That candidate, Mark LaJoye, won an identical appeal on Thursday, as a judge ruled he had also filed his paperwork on time. 

While two other candidates, Pam Brown and Robert Smith, did not appeal their disqualifications, Tompkins said she approached the appeal process with what she called cautious optimism.

"We did believe justice would prevail, and we certainly did believe that common sense would prevail," Tompkins said. "You never really, really know until you know,  so we had faith."

Tompkins also said the appeal process has been an educational experience that will prepare her for the duration of her campaign. 

"While it was difficult and stressful," she said, "it's probably good training for some of the things that you're going to face in life."

With the election board's ruling overturned, the race for Muscogee County Sheriff boils down to three candidates - Tompkins on the Democratic ballot, Lajoye on the Republican ticket, and incumbent John Darr, who's running without affiliation.

Towards the end of her conversation with News Leader 9, Tompkins said she will now focus all her energy on running her campaign to win the general election in November.

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