POCATELLO — One of four candidates vying to join the City Council in November has been disqualified from running and will have his name removed from the ballot following a residency issue, according to Bannock County Clerk Jason Dixon.
Taylor Wood, who manages a real estate fund that focuses on development in Pocatello and was running for Pocatello City Council seat No. 4 to replace departing council member Heidi Adamson, was disqualified because he does not reside at the North 10th Avenue home that he claimed in his filing to run, Dixon said.
Wood said he has been building a house on North 10th Avenue in Pocatello and was supposed to move into the home in June, but delays related to materials and workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic have prevented him from moving into the home in time for the upcoming election.
Wood on Monday told the Idaho State Journal that he did not lie or intentionally misrepresent where he lives when he completed and returned his packet to run earlier this month. Wood and his wife, who is an Idaho native, recently moved to the Gem State.
“As soon as I realized my address was going to be an issue, I spoke with the correct individuals and we made the choice that it would be best for me not to be on the ballot,” Wood said. “We have had issues with building and finding supplies and are just waiting on the masonry work to move in. I just don’t have a certificate of occupancy.”
For election purposes, Idaho code defines a residence “as the principal or primary home or place of abode of a person.” Further, it defines a principal or primary home or place of abode as the location in which habitation is fixed and is the place where a person returns after a departure or absence.
Dixon said it was discovered that Wood does not live in the North 10th Avenue home on Sept. 17, which was the last day a candidate could have withdrawn from the Nov. 2 election. Dixon did not have a number to reach Wood and was provided one on Sept. 23. Dixon contacted Wood on Sept. 24 to inform him of the address discrepancy and his disqualification from the election.
Bannock County Elections officials were able to remove Wood’s name from the ballot ahead of the election, Dixon added.
Wood said that he is someone who wants to be locally involved, adding that if the cards are right the next go-around, he will likely file to run for City Council again in the future.
“I can be a great voice in the local community,” Wood said. “Whatever role I may have in the future, I want to be involved and make the city a better place.”
The remaining candidates running for Pocatello City Council seat No. 4 include Kathleen Lewis, Josh Mansfield and John C. Ruth.
Wood said he would like to fully endorse Mansfield for City Council now that he is no longer in the race.