Firing Back

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Hasan “Jay” Jalisi, a Democratic candidate for District 10 delegate, has responded to the petition filed earlier this month by a Republican challenger intent on removing him from the Nov. 4 ballot on the basis that he is not a resident of the district he seeks to represent.

“I live in Owings Mills, within the boundaries of my 10th legislative election district,” Jalisi asserted in an email last week. “The allegation that I do not is a pure fabrication and a malicious attempt by the Republican candidate to influence the election, which he otherwise cannot win. My driver’s license shows my Owings Mills residence as my place of domicile, and I am registered to vote from there as well.”

Jalisi said he was not aware of the petition until days after it was filed.

“I condemn the negative politics by the Republican candidate — who has run twice before for the same seat and lost both times — and look forward to winning the general elections on Nov. 4, and thereafter working for the benefit of the residents of my district in the Maryland General Assembly.”

Jalisi ran for District 11 representative on the Democratic Central Committee in 2010 and lost with only 6 percent of the vote. In June, he secured a spot on the general election ballot by winning the primary for delegate in neighboring District 10.

The suit, which was filed on Oct. 7 in Anne Arundel Circuit Court by Republican candidate William Newton, claims that Jalisi lives in District 11, not District 10. The Democratic primary race for delegate in District 11 ended in a landslide victory for incumbent Dels. Dana Stein and Dan Morhaim, as well as newcomer Shelly Hettleman, the former campaign manager for U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin. Del. Adrienne Jones was the only incumbent in the Democratic primary for District 10 delegate.

The JT first reported discrepancies in Jalisi’s residency claims in June, citing property and tax records that suggest the Democratic candidate’s primary residence is an address on Greenspring Avenue in Lutherville-Timonium rather than the address he has used in campaign filings on Reisterstown Road in Owings Mills. Jalisi has been receiving a homestead tax credit at the Lutherville address, which is valued at almost $575,000, since 2009. The tax credit is only applicable to a person’s primary residence.

Jalisi recently told The Daily Record that the reason for the confusion is that he and his wife separated in 2013 and he moved out. But his wife has been spotted with Jalisi numerous times during the campaign.

Maryland law makes it difficult for a candidate to be disqualified for reasons relating to residency, especially if — as in Jalisi’s case — the candidate owns multiple properties in the area. The deadline to challenge the residency of a candidate is just days after the deadline for declaring one’s candidacy and election law requires only that the candidate be domiciled in the district in which they run for office, a legal standard that does not necessarily mean that their primary residence is in the district.

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