Petition challenges whether Berryhill met residence standard

Assemblyman Tom Berryhill faces a renewed challenge in court to keep him out of his bid for a Senate seat.

Columbia attorney Heidi Fuller this week filed a petition with the California Supreme Court arguing that Berryhill has not lived in the 14th Senate District long enough to run for the seat.

She’s pointing to a clause in the state constitution that requires a candidate to live in a district a year before running for office. That part of the constitution historically has not been enforced.

Berryhill moved from Modesto to Oakdale in January to compete for the seat, which is held by Sen. Dave Cogdill of Modesto.

Two courts have sided with Berryhill. The 3rd District Court of Appeal in Sacramento declined to hear the case, and the Sacramento County Superior Court ruled that Berryhill can run for the seat.

Fuller entered the race early, intending to challenge Cogdill because of his vote last year to help balance the state budget with a package of cuts and temporary tax increases.

Cogdill in November announced that he would not seek re-election, a decision that prompted Berryhill to make a run for the district.

Cogdill has endorsed Berryhill in the June 8 Republican primary.

Aside from Fuller and Berryhill, three others are running for the GOP nomination to succeed Cogdill.

They are Fresno financial adviser Tom Marsella, Oakdale business owner Bret de St. Jeor, and Manteca engineer Tim Campi.