Tontitown Candidate Is Eligible To Run For Mayor, Judge Rules

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WASHINGTON COUNTY (KFSM) - A Tontitown mayoral candidate has been given the all clear by Circuit Judge Mark Lindsay on Oct. 21 to run in the upcoming Nov. 4 election, officials say.

Citizens of Tontitown will be able to vote for Paul Colvin as a candidate when they're voting for the office of mayor, according to officials.

Toni Zulpo filed a lawsuit on Sept. 30 stating that Colvin didn't actually live in Tonitown, and he instead just changed his Fayetteville address to his mother's  Springdale address (that is within the Tontitown city limits).

The lawsuit states that Colvin actually lives in the 18000 block of Harmon Road in Fayetteville, and he only claims to live at his mother's residence in the 700 block of South Barrington Road in Tontitown.

"Colvin is attempting to circumvent Arkansas law by claiming to have moved into the incorporated city limits of Tontitown so that he can run for the position of mayor," the lawsuit states.

Based on those claims, the lawsuit requested that the court instruct the Washington County Election Commission to disqualify and keep Colvin's name from appearing on the Nov. 4 ballot.

Lindsay didn't rule in favor of the lawsuit, though, instead saying that in order to run for a municipal office (like mayor), a candidate need only be physically present where they're running the day they file for office or make an affirmation that they intend to move there in the future. If the candidate wins their election for mayor, then they have to live in the town they will preside over, officials said.

Brian Lester, the Fayetteville attorney that represented Zulpo, said that an emergency appeal could be filed to the Arkansas Supreme Court to overturn Lindsay's ruling, but he hadn't had a chance to discuss that decision with Zulpo yet.

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