A lawsuit questioning the residency of Democratic State Rep. Dennis Horlander is seeking to provide a surprise boost to the GOP’s goal of taking control of the state House. 

The lawsuit claims that Horlander, who represents a district in the Shively area, doesn’t even in live in Jefferson County.

If a judge agrees, Horlander would be thrown off the ballot. 

With no third party or GOP-nominated candidates challenging Horlander this year, that leave write-in James Howland as the only other candidate who could fill the seat.

The deadline to file as a write-in candidate has passed.

In a phone interview, Howland says he’s been a Republican for 20 years.  Bringing charter schools to Kentucky would be Howland’s priority, if he takes office.

“And so I would want to be on the education committee, that’s something that I would really want to do,” he said.

Howland said Republican leaders have contacted him since the lawsuit was filed.

But he said he’s ready to serve, even if his candidacy was originally more of an experiment than reality.

“Well, if that were to become the case I would do it, I wouldn’t make any promises that it wouldn’t take me a moment to get my bearings and figure out what to do,” Howland said. “I’d have to get some advice from some people, and I might even have to talk to Mr. Horlander to figure out what to do next.”

A hearing on Horlander’s residency has yet to be set.