The race for the open associate circuit court judge in Lawrence County is headed for a court challenge between the Republican candidates.
Robert George, the county prosecutor who filed for the Division 2 judge position in February, has filed suit against former judge and fellow candidate Samuel C. Jones, who filed later. George has questioned the residential qualifications of Jones.
A hearing has been scheduled for April 30.
In his petition, George claims that Jones is not eligible to run for office in Lawrence County because of his residence. George alleges that Jones' true residence is in Lee's Summit and that Jones has not been a resident in Lawrence County for at least one year, as state statutes require. George is seeking a court judgment ruling Jones is not eligible to run.
Jones takes a different view.
"The evidence at trial will prove I am a Lawrence County resident and have been a continuous resident since 1946," Jones told The Times.
"The whole issue was decided in 1972 when Kit Bond ran for governor," Jones said. "His residency was challenged. The Missouri Supreme Court give excellent guidelines for making a determination. I knew [residency] might be an issue, and I did research before and after filing."
George and Jones are running for the seat being vacated by Judge Larry Meyer, who is retiring.
No Democratic candidate filed for the position.