HUNTINGTON – A spokeswoman for Secretary of State Natalie Tennant said that long-term Cabell Magistrate Darrell Black’s residency is a matter that must be answered by a court of law.

Questions of candidacy eligibility in elections must be answered by the court.

Magistrate candidate Opal Sanders said Feb. 18 that she had submitted paperwork to the secretary of state and the Cabell County Commission requesting an investigation into Black, alleging that he lives outside of Cabell County.

Sanders is running against Black in the May election.

Sanders claims that Black is registered to vote at a residence in Guyandotte that belongs to a family member who pays property tax and that the address did not appear until Black first ran for magistrate in 2000.

Black was elected in 2000 and has served since. Black owns a home outside city limits on Bouvier Street, according to the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office.

Briana Wilson, the communications director of the Secretary of State’s Office, said that candidacy issues must be resolved in court.

Magistrates must reside in the county over which they preside, according to West Virginia Code.

Sanders claims that residency in West Virginia is defined as where an individual spends a majority of their time.

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