Jonathan D. Goins can run for City Council District 3.
Judge Rae Swent ruled in favor of Goins, who can run against Charles F. Smith for the District 3 Council seat.
The judge’s ruling came about 5 minutes after closing arguments, in which Smith’s attorney, George Gaienne III, suggested the low use of electricity, water and gas indicated Goins didn’t live in the Juliet Street home and should not be qualified to seek to represent District 3 on the Alexandria City Council.
Goin’s attorney, Thomas Davenport, agreed that Goins does have an alternate residence on Louisiana Highway 28 West, but it is used for business purposes.
“Do not punish this young man because he doesn’t want to take business clients to the hood,” Davenport asked the judge.
Swent did as Davenport asked. She ruled that it’s not necessary to sleep at a home every night for that residence to be considered a primary residence.
“I don’t believe that it was their primary residence, but they were going there all of the time,” Swent said.
“Goins did take up another apartment, but he didn’t stop his mail, change his voter registration. His preference is to maintain contact with the community,” she said.
Meanwhile, Goins said he is grateful for the outcome, but he is upset that it had to end up in court.
“I’m appalled that Charles Fredrick Smith had to go through this length to hire a private investigator to go through my grandmother’s and mother’s private things. It’s a violation of the privacy of two elderly women who have been voting in this district for years.”