Despite withdrawing from the race last week, southwest Cherokee County resident Dean Sheridan has been deemed qualified to seek the seat.
Georgia Secretary of State Brain Kemp on Thursday issued the ruling, which also concluded Cartersville resident Matt Laughridge also met the residency requirements to run for the seat.
Cody Whitlock, a spokesman for the Secretary of State's office, said the department has not received an official notice of withdrawal from Sheridan.
"At this moment, he is a candidate," he added.
Sheridan on Thursday said his name will still appear on the ballot, despite his decision to drop out of the race. He noted he will not endorse any other candidates in the race, but encouraged voters to "make sure they cast their vote for the most qualified conservative on the ballot other than me."
Sheridan then accused one candidate — which he said he will reveal that person's identity on Sunday — has allegedly voted "Democratic for some 20 years all but once."
"This person will be given until Oct. 20th to come forward on their own free will because it is a transparency issue to the constituents," he added.
Canton resident Garret Jamieson, who challenged the candidacies of both Sheridan and Laughridge, said he was "very disappointed" in both outcomes.
The election system is "flawed" and Jamieson said he will begin work in the next few months "to bring those flaws to the attention of those in charge and to the voting public."
There are far too many loopholes in our system that allow a candidate who openly admits to breaking the law to run for public office," he said in a statement. "As far as the special election is concerned, I stand by the evidence and testimony presented in the hearing. The public must make an informed, educated decision."
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