One of the candidates under fire about whether he is eligible to run for the District 14 state Senate seat in the Nov. 5 special election announced Saturday he is withdrawing from the race.
Dean Sheridan, 51, of Acworth made the announcement at the Cherokee County Republican Party meeting in Canton, where a candidate’s forum was held in the election to fill the seat vacated by Barry Loudermilk in his bid for Congress.
Other candidates in the special election for District 14 are Dwight Pullen, 53, of Canton, Nicole Ebbeskotte, 42, of Woodstock, Christopher G. Nesmith, 42, of Adairsville, Bruce Thompson, 48, of White, and Matt Laughridge, 25, of Bartow County.
Sheridan said he made the decision to withdraw so that the conservative vote would not be split.
“My greatest fear is that by continuing my campaign in effect I/we together will leave the door open for a candidate in this District 14 race that does not hold our values, our ideology and our core principles and split the upcoming vote,” he said in making the announcement. “With this, I refuse to take this risk; for all of you. You all know me as a doer, one who unites a fiscal conservative fighter.”
Sheridan said there were also other factors, including rumors, and false accusations, which led to his decision.
“The business challenges my family must go through, combined with what I now believe will be a prolonged campaign is at risk. One the district and my family can ill afford to misjudge. With that, I regretfully resign my candidacy effective today,” Sheridan said.
Sheridan said the election was not just about him, but the party.
“Personally, I am inspired by the work over the last two years that I refer to as ‘the new Republican Party in Cherokee County’ has done,” Sheridan said. “In particular, the work our Chairman Rick Davies and the other chairmen in the surrounding counties have with the resolution reaffirming the belief in Constitutional principles, transparency and accountability to a constituency.”
After a hearing Thursday in Atlanta before Deputy Chief Judge Michael Malihi of the Georgia Office of Administrative Hearings, a decision on a complaint that Sheridan owed back taxes was expected to be decided by the Georgia Secretary of State’s office this week.
Sheridan said at the time the complaint was filed that he did not owe the taxes since they were charged against a business he had owned after it had closed down. He had said he planned to sort the matter out with the IRS.
He said at the hearing, however, the government shutdown had made it difficult to resolve the matter.
“For me, this race is about you, for all of the constituents in District 14; I simply refuse to make this about me.” Sheridan said Saturday in his announcement that he was not running. “Originally as you know, my entrance in this race was a sprint that we can win and still could for our county. This race, like it or not, is about Cherokee County.”