Ward 2 Little Rock City Director Ken Richardson tells me there will be no special meeting on City Attorney Tom Carpenter’s finding that another candidate for Ward 2, Valerie Tatum, registered to run from an address outside the ward and thus should be disqualified.

Carpenter had planned to file a court action to prevent counting votes for Tatum, who listed a residence in Ward One, but he said an unnamed city director objected. He said a single objection was enough to prevent his court action without a majority vote of the City Board. Mayor Mark Stodola asked for interest in a special meeting and did not gain support for the idea. Richardson said he recused. He has also said he didn’t file the objection to Tatum’s candidacy.

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Tatum moved from Maumelle (where public records indicate she enjoys a homestead exemption on property acquired in 1993) to an address on Fair Park to make the race, but didn’t realize the address was on the wrong side of the dividing line between Ward One and Two. She got an attorney, Jess Askew, to object to her disqualification by Carpenter and has moved since the problem was discovered to an address in the ward. Carpenter has said the move came too late because she wasn’t qualified when she filed.

Tatum apparently will be on the ballot and votes will count, unless a private citizen files a challenge. If she wins, and there is no challenge, it would appear an ineligible candidate will take a seat on the city board thanks, effectively, to the single objection of an unnamed city director.

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My guess on the city director? Speculation would have to begin with City Director Joan Adcock, who functions as a shadow mayor through aggressive behind-the-scenes politicking and who’s a foe of Richardson. An ally of hers ran unsuccessfully against him in 2014.

Tatum, a former charter school administrator, is bringing her charter school background to the fray, with campaign contributions from a wealthy El Dorado charter school supporter. Her attorney frequently appears in support of Walton charter school agenda issues in court and the state Education Department.

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