Court case over school board race pending election results

Incumbent suing challenger in Clay County School Board District 5 race

GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. – The race for Clay County School Board wound up, not on the campaign trail, but in a courtroom as attorneys for District 5 incumbent Ashley Gilhousen and her opponent Lynne Chafee were in court Tuesday for a hearing. 

Gilhousen is suing Chafee in an attempt to force her to exit the race after Chafee admitted to the News4Jax I-TEAM that she lived in Fleming Island, but wants to represent Green Cove Springs. Gilhousen is also suing the Clay County supervisor of elections. 

I-TEAM: Candidate’s residency becomes question in Clay County School Board race |
NEWS4JAX VOTER'S GUIDE: Clay County School Board - District 5

The big question Judge Gary Wilkinson had is whether this impacts the Nov. 6 election because, as of Tuesday afternoon, more than 31,000 Clay County voters had already voted.

So in court Tuesday, attorneys for both sides agreed to let the election play out. Then, if Chafee wins, the case will get started.

Gilhousen’s attorney requested that any hearing take place before Nov. 20, which is the date the new school board member would be sworn in.  Beyond that, it’s uncertain what will happen if Chafee wins the election.

After the hearing was over, Chafee’s attorney, Ron Meyer, came out to say two things: his client was living in the proper district the date she filed to run months ago, and voters shouldn’t be deterred from voting in the school board race.

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