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A Mississippi attorney has filed a petition with the state’s Democratic Party Executive Committee to disqualify Howard Sherman, one of six Democratic candidates gunning to unseat Republican Sen. Roger Wicker this fall.
Jackson attorney Sam Begley, a longtime Democratic voter and operative, said on Thursday that Sherman is violating the state Democratic Party’s constitution.
Sherman, a venture capitalist who has recently resided in California and is the husband of Mississippi actress Sela Ward, has never voted in Mississippi, according to voting records. Begley claims that Sherman does not currently reside in the state.
Further, federal campaign finance records show that Sherman gave the maximum individual donation to Wicker in 2017, as well as previous donations to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and former Mississippi Sen. Trent Lott, both Republicans.
In the petition to the party’s executive committee, Begley writes that donating to an official of another party less than a year before his own candidacy directly violates the state Democratic Party’s constitution.
“I’m interested in the outcome of the two Senate races,” Begley told Mississippi Today on Thursday. “We need to have a strong candidate in both races. I was just concerned about Mr. Sherman’s candidacy since he seems to be spending money.”
Sherman’s campaign did not immediately respond to questions about the petition. It is unclear how quickly party officials would respond to the petition.
Wicker, who’s facing a single Republican primary challenger with no political experience, has served in the seat since 2008. Six Democrats, including Sherman, will square off in the June 5 primary.