Ed Teal, Republican candidate for Marshall County sheriff, is suing Marshall County chief deputy Doug Gibbs for “cybersquatting.”

Gibbs allegedly bought 19 internet domain names that Teal could have used as his campaign website. The domain names include www.Tealforsheriff.com,   www.VoteEdTeal.com, and other variations on that theme.

Teal’s lawsuit states, “On Jan. 6, the day after I announced my candidacy for sheriff of Marshall County, a person who took steps to mask his identity purchased a series of internet domain names with the intent of obstructing my campaign.” After some investigating, Gibbs’ name surfaced. It is not known whether he acted on behalf of his boss, the incumbent sheriff.

It has been rumored in Marshall County that Teal had dropped off his campaign literature (bearing a domain name that he hadn’t yet registered) at a printer. Fortunately, the printer checked the web address before filling the order, and he had to explain to Teal that the site already belonged to someone else.

Note to other candidates: Go register your domain name BEFORE you announce your candidacy. Politics is a blood sport.

Gita M. Smith

Gita M. Smith

Gita M. Smith is a former Atlanta Journal-Constitution staff writer who covered Alabama -- yes, the whole state -- for the paper's national desk where she fell under  the dangerous influence of Keith Graham and Ron Taylor.  She writes flash fiction at 6S, Thinking 10 and fictionaut.