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Secretary of State Addresses Questions about the Inmate Running for President

By: Mollie Lair Email
By: Mollie Lair Email

Keith Judd is a federal prison inmate. He's also running on the Democratic ticket for president.

The candidate is currently serving time at a jail in Texas. Many voters are questioning the validity of his campaign.

West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant addressed voters Friday afternoon to clear up the issue.

The U.S. Constitution states in order to run for president a candidate must meet 3 criteria---be a natural born citizen, be 35 years old, and have lived in the U.S. for 14 years.

There is no disqualification for being convicted of a felony.

"The law is above passion and emotion. Many times the law creates a result which is unpopular. Nevertheless, I must follow the law regardless of what might be perceived as the popular thing to do," says Tennant.

"I swore an oath to uphold the state and national constitutions. Those documents state that I can not disqualify this individual. Anyone suggesting in passion that I should ignore the law or my oath is mistaken," says the Secretary of State.

This is not without precedent. In recent history, 2 other felons have run for president, including one woman.

But the West Virginia Constitution prohibits convicted felons from running for state, local, or municipal office.


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