Former Idaho lawmaker deemed ineligible to run for office

District 3 House Seat B (Republican)
District 3 House Seat B (Republican)

Secretary of State Lawerence Denney has ruled former state lawmaker Phil Hart ineligible to run for a legislative seat in northern Idaho.

Denney’s office confirmed Friday Hart did not meet state residency requirements, which dictate that legislative candidates must be an elector in the district or county for at least a year before the election in order to qualify for the ballot.

Denney’s office says Hart has only been a registered elector in Legislative District 7 since November. The Republican was hoping to oust GOP Rep. Paul Shepherd in the May primary.

Hart previously served four terms in a separate legislative district from 2004 to 2012.

In 2016, he lost his home in Athol as part of a settlement due to unpaid federal income taxes. Hart had long refused to pay federal income taxes because he claimed the tax was unconstitutional.