Republican Assemblyman Tom Berryhill of Modesto has a green light for his state Senate run, at least for the time being.
The 3rd District Court of Appeal on Thursday declined to hear a lawsuit that sought to block him from running for a seat this year on the grounds that he had not lived in Senate District 14 long enough to enter the race.
A clause in the state constitution requires that candidates live in a legislative district a year before running for office. The state has not enforced that standard for decades.
Berryhill moved into District 14 a month ago, which would have given him 11 months in the district on Election Day.
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Heidi Fuller, a Tuolumne County attorney who is vying for the same Senate seat, filed the lawsuit two weeks ago to compel the secretary of state and attorney general to enforce the constitution's residency requirement.
Fuller intends to resubmit the lawsuit in Sacramento County Superior Court. The Court of Appeal rejected the case without comment but indicated it could be filed in a lower court.
"It's a little disappointing, but we will file the petition at the Superior Court (today) and ask for expedited process to avoid any delay," Fuller said.
Berryhill and Fuller are competing for the GOP's nomination to succeed Sen. Dave Cogdill of Modesto. The district is considered a safe Republican seat.
Berryhill lived in a part of Modesto represented by Jeff Denham, R-Atwater. He took a residence in Oakdale last month so he could run in Cogdill's district.
Berryhill "still holds that this is a frivolous lawsuit and the Court of Appeal's decision upholds that view," said Berryhill spokeswoman Laura Ortega.
Bee Assistant City Editor Adam Ashton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2366.