By Walter GeigerArthur (Brutz) English can continue his campaign for magistrate judge after the Board of Elections voted unanimously not to challenge his eligibility at a hearing Wednesday morning.********************NOTICE:This story and photo(s) are under copyright. They may not be republished or disseminated in any form or format – including social media – without explicit permission.*********************The hearing opened with board vice-chairman Bill Christopher explaining that the entire board serves as the superintendent of elections by statute. Anita Reid is the hired supervisor of elections. He noted the board was in possession of information and opinions from district attorney Jonathan Adams and legal counsel from the Secretary of State’s office that English was not eligible. Only a registered Lamar County voter or the elections superintendent (meaning the entire board) can officially challenge a candidate’s eligibility to seek office, Christopher said.”At this point, no formal challenge has been filed,” English emphasized and the board and county attorney Scott Mayfield agreed.”I have been open and transparent since I decided to seek this office. I have provided this board with my criminal record and my restoration of rights. I have been in constant contact with Ms. Reid. Now I am qualified and have spent considerable funds. I tried to deal with this through official means yet here we are,” English continued. “My pardon wipes my criminal record clean. The law absolves me completely. Any challenge must be brought by a registered voter or the elections superintendent. This is a de facto action by the district attorney.”Christopher agreed. “This is not a citizen complaint. That would make me more comfortable,” he said.”This is the district attorney’s opinion and he wants you to act on it. He has proactively inserted himself into this situation,” English argued.Noting chairperson Elaine Williams and the board had done the right thing in calling the hearing, board member Monica Walters said, “Due to his pardon, we have no other course of action but to accept Mr. English as a qualified candidate.”Looking around the room, English said, ‘I notice the district attorney’s opinion was not strong enough for him to show up here this morning.”Christopher then made a motion the board not pursue a challenge. It was seconded by member Scott Cone. The vote was 4-0 to approve the motion.Chairperson Williams is a City of Barnesville appointee to the board and votes only in the event of a tie. Christopher was appointed by the City of Milner. Cone is the Democratic party appointee. Walters is the Lamar County appointee. Member Mike Perry is the Republican party appointee.