SAVANNAH — Public records show that Republican Candidate John Stone does not live in nor is he registered to vote in the congressional district he wants to represent. According to the Richmond County Voter Registration Office, Stone registered to vote in the 10th District on March 11, several months after he began his campaign for Congress.
“The incredible thing is that Stone can’t even vote for himself in the July 15 primary,” said Clint Murphy, campaign manager for Ray McKinney, who is also running for the 12th District Republican nomination. “While the only residency requirement for Congress is to live in the state, if Stone were running for the state Legislature, he’d be disqualified for not living in the district. The big question is do 12th District voters think an outsider can effectively represent them in Congress?”
According to tax records, Stone purchased this 10th District home while residing in the Washington, D.C,. area.
Additionally, disclosure papers filed with the U.S. House of Representatives filed as recently as July 2007 indicated Stone was renting the house out, not living there. Murphy pointed out that Stone has lived and worked in the Washington, D.C., area for at least 12 years.
“In the last few years, Stone has served as president of a K Street special interest group, the U.S. Freedom Foundation,” Murphy said. “While Stone states that he has resigned from the group, he is still listed as the president on the Web site, www.freedomfoundation.us and in the group’s solicitation for donations.”
Stone told a Savannah paper, “I think what most voters are looking for in this race is somebody who will go up to Washington and take on the powers that be that have basically bought the government away from the people.”
“I agree,” said Murphy, “and Ray McKinney is the best candidate who can do it. Ray has lived and worked in the 12th District all his life, unlike Stone and Ben Crystal, the other GOP candidate who is originally from New York. Earlier this year, Ray walked 450 miles throughout the district to talk directly with the average voters and get to know its communities. Stone is rarely seen outside the Augusta area.”
“This is just another reason why citizens are fed up with politics as usual.” said McKinney, 45, an engineering consultant and former vice president of an energy services company. “Do we really need to send a member of Congress to Washington who is a part of the politics as usual crowd, and didn’t even bother to move into the 12th when he moved back to Georgia?”
The 12th District is the eastern most Georgia Congressional District running from Savannah to south Augusta and going west to Milledgeville.
The winner of the Republican nomination will face either U.S. Rep. John Barrow (D-Savannah) or Democratic challenger and former state Sen. Regina Thomas in the fall.