This is one of the instances when it would have been wise to read the fine print before signing up.
Caroline Self, the Democratic Party nominee for Alabama State Senate District 1, which includes parts of Lauderdale, Limestone and Madison Counties, qualified as a Democratic candidate for State Senate earlier this year.
However, she may not meet the qualifications laid out in the Alabama Constitution to serve as a state senator.
According to the biography on her campaign website, Self graduated from Florence’s Bradshaw High School in 1995. She went on to earn an undergraduate degree from Harvard and work at the White House before obtaining a law degree from Fordham University. She goes on to tout “telling the stories of Americans from all walks of life” while working in television.
And in 2017, she returned to Alabama to “work to make the stories of Alabamians better.”
But has she been a citizen and resident of Alabama long enough to meet requirements laid out in Article IV, Section 47 of the Constitution of Alabama? The language for the qualifications of senators and representatives in the Alabama Constitution states a residency requirement of three years:
Senators shall be at least twenty-five years of age, and representatives twenty-one years of age at the time of their election. They shall have been citizens and residents of this state for three years and residents of their respective counties or districts for one year next before their election, if such county or district shall have been so long established; but if not, then of the county or district from which the same shall have been taken; and they shall reside in their respective counties or districts during their terms of office.
Self faces incumbent State Sen. Tim Melson (R-Florence), who had held the State Senate District 1 seat since 2014.