McCormick buys Nashville home, still found qualified to run as state rep in Chattanooga

Gerald McCormick, who is a former House majority leader and eyeing a run for House speaker next year, bought a home in Nashville last year but still has been declared qualified to run for re-election as a state representative in Chattanooga, reports the Times Free Press.

Tennessee Election Coordinator Mark Goins says he’s determined that state Rep. Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga… “meets a sufficient number of factors” to remain on the ballot as a candidate in the House District 26 contest.

In recent weeks, an issue about the former state House majority leader’s legal residency has been raised in light of the Aug. 4, 2017, purchase of a $487,032 home in Nashville by McCormick and his wife, Kim McCormick, a top aide to Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor Flora Tydings.

The deed of trust for the Nashville home lists the house as McCormick’s “principal residence.” The representative still owns a 3,500-square-foot Chattanooga residence on Big Ridge.

McCormick, a seven-term representative and former House majority leader, accused Democrats of being the culprits behind raising issues about his legal residency.

“The guy that came and creeped around in my backyard through a gate and looked at the windows is a Democratic campaign guy. He works for one of the guys who’s running against me,” McCormick charged.

McCormick said during several Times Free Press interviews that he continues to spend the majority of his time outside of the General Assembly’s annual four-month legislative session at his Chattanooga home and thus meets the Tennessee Constitution’s requirements.

The state constitution’s Article 2, Section 9 states that no one can be a state representative unless he has “resided three years in this state, and one year in the county or district, immediately preceding the election.”

McCormick works as a real estate broker. He said he and his wife, who formerly worked at Chattanooga State and in 2017 went to work for Tydings, currently as her vice chancellor of external affairs, made the decision to buy the home because Kim McCormick spends most of her time in Nashville.

Goins and current House Majority Leader Glen Casada, R-Franklin, said in recent interviews a younger man identifying himself as a University of Tennessee at Chattanooga student had contacted them with questions about McCormick’s ability to run for the seat.

“Someone called Friday and it was the first we became aware of even a hint of an issue in regards to his residency,” Goins said Monday, saying he had already reached out to McCormick.

“A person can have, as you know, more than one residence,” Goins said. “There’s a statute that we look at for guiding factors and after talking to Rep. McCormick, he’s going to be supplying some information that would meet those factors.”

… McCormick said he didn’t realize the deed of trust he and his wife signed and had notarized had the 12-month “principal residence” requirement in the Nashville home’s purchase.

He said he reached out to the mortgage company officials to tell them that the Nashville home is not his principal residence. McCormick said an official assured him that was OK provided that his spouse counted the Nashville as her “principal residence,” which McCormick stated she does.

Note: The TFP has a copy of a Goins’ letter/memo on McCormick HERE. Two Democrats are vying for their party’s nomination in House District 26 in the Aug. 2 primary — David Jones and Jean-Marie Lawrence. McCormick is unopposed in the Republican primary.

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