Friday, November 2, 2007

Sun Valley candidate registers to vote after filing to run

Express Staff Writer

Dewayne Briscoe speaks at the Pizza and Politics forum in Sun Valley on Oct. 25.

Public records show that Sun Valley City Council candidate Dewayne Briscoe was not a registered voter in Blaine County when he filed papers to run for a $15,000-a-year council seat in the Nov. 6 election and technically may not have been qualified.

Moreover, after filing for a slot in the City Council race, Briscoe then registered to vote—all on Sept. 6, the day before the Sept. 7 deadline for becoming a candidate.

Records provided by Sun Valley City Clerk Kelly Ek show that Briscoe:

· Filed his "Declaration of Candidacy" on Sept. 6, which includes the sworn, notarized statement that "I possess the legal qualifications to fill said office."

· Then filed on Sept. 6 a handwritten "Declaration of Intent" to register to vote—apparently after declaring he was legally qualified. Ek said the "intent" to register was technically sufficient to meet the city's qualifications.

· Provided "Verification of Registration" as a voter to Sun Valley on Sept. 10, according to Ek.

Briscoe did not immediately respond to several messages asking for comment left on his home message recorder Thursday by the Mountain Express.

Sun Valley Mayor Jon Thorson confirmed that being a registered voter is one of the requirements for seeking a seat on the council.

Briscoe, 73, who lists his residence on Fairway Loop, has been a part-time Sun Valley resident off and on for years, spending other time in the state of Washington, where he apparently practiced dentistry before retiring.

However, that has been no obstacle to Briscoe's very visible and sometimes voluble comments about local politics. He has been critical of Sun Valley's elected officials and accused Thorson of incompetence prior to becoming a registered voter, according to Thorson.

In a Mountain Express interview, Briscoe said that "I would not be running if I felt the current city government decisions were all in the best interests of its citizens and property owners."

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