Update: Abernathy Seeks Legal Clarity On Superintendent Of Schools Race Eligibility
Update to original story: Abernathy appeared in court before Judge Kevin Seibert on Tuesday. The judge is expected to issue a ruling this Thursday.
Original story: Sonora, CA — A court decision in Southern California has prompted prospective Tuolumne County Superintendent of Schools candidate, Zachary Abernathy, to seek more information about his potential eligibility.
We reported earlier that Abernathy filed paperwork to run against incumbent Cathy Parker just before the election deadline closed last month. However, Abernathy does not have an administrative services credential, a requirement for the position. There were legal questions posed about whether he could still run because he would be eligible to receive one in the near future. After meeting with local election officials, he eventually decided to withdraw his candidacy for the position, with the understanding that he did not meet the requirements.
A similar situation, however, is playing out in Santa Barbara County where a Superintendent of Schools candidate has the same qualifications as Abernathy. A superior court judge down there last week permitted that particular candidate to remain on the ballot. In light of this, Abernathy confirms to Clarke Broadcasting that he has filed a request for a review of his eligibility with the local court. Abernathy stressed that he feels local officials have acted with integrity and treated him fairly throughout the process, but he would like an additional legal review on his unique circumstances.
Depending on how things play out, Superintendent Parker could either run unopposed during the June Primary, or against a potential challenger, Abernathy. Parker is currently finishing her first term in office, and Abernathy is a teacher and Activities Director at Sonora High School.
Tuolumne County’s Clerk and Auditor-Controller, Debi Bautista, reports that a judge is expected to review the issue late today and likely provide further clarity. We will pass along more information when it becomes available.