Wednesday, 13 March 2019 18:44

Green Party candidate enters 9th District race

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Allen Smith has filed to run as a Green Party candidate in the special election for North Carolina's 9th Congressional District. Allen Smith has filed to run as a Green Party candidate in the special election for North Carolina's 9th Congressional District.

ROCKINGHAM — Another third-party candidate has entered the race for a chance to go to Washington and represent the 9th District in the U.S. House of Representatives, bringing the total field to five.

Records with the N.C. State Board of Elections show that Green Party candidate Allen Smith of Charlotte filed for the special election on Wednesday.

Paperwork was filed with the Federal Election Commission on March 7.

A message left on the phone number listed on election documents was not returned.

According to an online resume website, Smith is a software developer with experience in video production, animation and graphic design.

Independent Political Report, a website covering independent and third-party candidates, says Smith has previously run for state Senate and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education.

Third-party candidates are often accused by the two major parties of splitting the vote.

One person commenting the VoteBlue page on Reddit, said that Green stands for “Getting Republicans Elected Every November.”

Another person commented: “This is gonna be another close race and it's gonna be incredibly frustrating if a Green spoils another election.”

North Carolina recognized the Green and Constitution parties last spring.

Kevin Hayes, vice chairman of the N.C. Constitution Party, told the RO that while they’re not completely ruling it out, party leaders don’t anticipate anyone running for the 9th District seat.

He said a few individuals were interested, but one was out of state and unable to file, while the other would rather focus on a race in 2020.

The party does have a candidate in the special election in the 3rd District for the seat left vacant following the death of late Rep. Walter Jones. 

The field in that races features 20 other candidates: six from the Democratic Party; 17 from the GOP; and two Libertarians.

The only other third-party candidate in the 9th District contest is Libertarian Jeff Scott, also of Charlotte, who filed Monday.

Scott ran in the initial race, only garnering 5,130 votes in November.

The Democratic challenger in the race, Dan McCready, filed to run again on Tuesday.

While McCready could be challenged from within his own party, state Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Goodwin previously told the RO that he was unaware of anyone planning to do so.

Only 905 votes separated McCready and Republican Mark Harris before accusations were made of election fraud in Bladen County, causing the state board to hold off on certifying the results.The 9th Congressional District includes Anson, Richmond, Scotland, Robeson and Union counties, as well as parts of Mecklenburg, Bladen and Cumberland counties.

The only two counties to predominantly favor Harris were Union and Bladen. McCready won the majority in Richmond, Anson, Scotland, Robeson, Cumberland and Mecklenberg counties. 

The race was closest in Richmond County with McCready leading by only 2 percent or 281 votes.

Following an evidentiary hearing, Harris, who had been making preparations to go to Washington, withdrew.

Leslie McCrae Dowless, who was hired by Harris for get-out-the-vote efforts, was arrested and charged, along with several others.

Shortly after the state board called for a new election, Harris announced he would not re-enter the race due to health problems.

The only other candidates to file for the special election are Union County Republicans Stony Rushing of Wingate and Fern Shubert of Marshville.

Rushing, who was endorsed by Harris, served on the Union County Board of Commissioners from 2002-2006 and was elected again in 2014, according to the county’s website.

Shubert was elected to the N.C. House of Representatives in 1994, 1996 and 2000 and to the state Senate in 2002, according to Ballotpedia. She also ran unsuccessful campaigns for governor in 2004, state Senate in 2010 and state auditor in 2012.

Several other Republicans have announced their intent to run including: former Mecklenburg County Commissioner Matthew Ridenhour; and Fayetteville businesswoman Stevie Rivenbark, who made her announcement via YouTube last Monday.

Clarence Goins Jr., who was the only candidate in the original race not from Mecklenburg County, previously told the RO that he hadn’t ruled out running again.

The seat in the U.S. House of Representatives has been vacant for more than three months. Congress was sworn in Jan. 3.

Filing ends on Friday.