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ATLANTA (AP) — A candidate for the Georgia House is appealing her disqualification from this year’s election over citizenship requirements.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Maria Palacios filed a lawsuit Sunday, hoping to overturn Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s decision that she cannot run.

Palacios was the only Democrat running for the Gainesville-area seat. Her disqualification means that the incumbent, Republican state Rep. Matt Dubnik, could be elected without opposition.

According to Palacios’ lawsuit, she has lived in Georgia since 2009 and became a U.S. citizen in 2017.

But Kemp said she did not meet a requirement in the Georgia Constitution that candidates be “citizens of this state for two years.”

Kemp relied on a 1984 legal opinion that concludes people must be U.S. citizens in order to be Georgia citizens.


Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution,