Tuesday, 23 April 2019 14:09

Early voting for Republican primary starts Wednesday

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ROCKINGHAM — Voters will have a chance to cast their ballots in the 9th Congressional District Republican primary when early voting begins Wednesday.

The one-stop voting site will be set up at the Richmond County Cooperative Extension office, 123 Caroline Street, and will be open weekdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Friday, May 10.

Polls will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on May 14, the day of the primary.

Elections Director Connie Kelly reminds voters that only those registered as Republican or unaffiliated can vote in the primary.

The ballot will feature 10 candidates: Matthew Ridenhour, Chris Anglin, Leigh Thomas Brown, Albert Lee Wiley Jr. and Gary Mitchell Dunn, Stevie Rivenbark Hull, Stony Rushing, Fern Shubert, Kathie Day and Sen. Dan Bishop.

Of the 10 candidates, half are from outside the district, which includes Anson, Richmond, Scotland, Robeson and Union counties, as well as parts of Mecklenburg, Bladen and Cumberland counties:

  • Rivenbark, a Fayetteville businesswoman, has an address listed with the SBOE in Fuquay Varina, which is in Wake County.
  • Wiley — who has previously run for the U.S. House of Representatives in three districts, for U.S. Senate twice, and for governor of Wisconsin — lives in Salter Path, in Carteret County.
  • Anglin, a former Democrat and Republican state Supreme Court candidate, is from Raleigh.
  • Brown, a Mecklenburg County realtor, lives in Harrisburg.
  • Day, also a Mecklenburg real estate agent, hails from Cornelius.

A quirk in the U.S. Constitution doesn’t require members of the U.S. House of Representatives to live in the district they’re elected to represent, only the state.

Dunn, of Matthews, has run for North Carolina governor as a Republican (1992) and a Democrat (2012) and was a Republican candidate for Charlotte mayor in 2017, according to Ballotpedia.

Ridenhour, a former Mecklenburg County Commissioner and retired Marine, said, “It takes a Marine to beat a Marine,” referring to Democratic challenger Dan McCready.

Bishop, who was recently re-elected to the state Senate, was a member of the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners from 2004-2008, then took a few years off before running for the N.C. House of Representatives in 2014, winning the seat for the 104th District.

Rushing, a Union County commissioner, was endorsed by former candidate Mark Harris, who bowed out because of health issues.

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.

If there is a clear winner in the primary, he or she will go on to face Democrat Dan McCready, Libertarian Jeff Scott and Green Party candidate Allen Smith, all of Charlotte.

The general election will be Sept. 10, unless a second primary is needed, in which case the general election will be Nov. 5. To avoid a second primary, one of the candidates must secure 30 percent of the vote.

McCready and Scott both were in the original election last November with Harris.

A special election was called following an evidentiary hearing by the N.C. State Board of Elections regarding allegations election fraud in Bladen County by Leslie McCrae Dowless, who was hired by the Harris campaign.

Dowless and several others are facing criminal charges.

The seat has been vacant for more than four months since former Rep. Robert Pittenger, who lost last year’s Republican primary to Harris, left office. Congress was sworn in Jan. 3.

Anyone with questions about election matters is encouraged to call the Richmond County Board of Elections Office at 910-997-8253.


Last modified on Tuesday, 23 April 2019 14:16