One man's attempts to run for a county commissioner seat ended in a missed deadline and a 911 call.
To the editor:
I filed for Harnett County Commissioner District 2. I overnighted the notarized forms.
On March 3, I received a call from Jessica Higginbottom at the Harnett County Board of Elections office. I was told that she needed a signature. She asked if I could come in and sign the paperwork or could someone come pick it up for me, but it would have to be mailed back. I agreed and called the State Board of Elections (Tiffany) to clear it with them, too. Tiffany called Claire Jones, Harnett County Board of Elections director, to make sure that all parties were aware.
The next day, Harnett County BOE didn’t give me my paperwork as discussed. They gave me a blank form. I called the state board to let them know. I was instructed to file a formal complaint. I called the county elections office and asked for a supervisor. That’s when Claire Jones got on the phone and expressed her dismay over me bringing in the state BOE. I explained I was not trying to be malicious I just wanted to make sure it was done right.
Once Jones knew that I wanted to file a formal written complaint, she became very disrespectful and unprofessional. She and Jessica were laughing at me saying she would take my complaint against her and file it. I later found out she called the sheriff twice and filed a false police report stating that I threatened her. She also emailed the board saying this.
I have attended several election board meetings looking for a resolution. I was informed this past Tuesday that I have two options. Option No. 1 is to get 4% of my district to sign a petition to be on the primary election ballot and be listed “unaffiliated” instead of with my political party. Option No. 2 is to be a write-in candidate. Betsy McCormick, a Board of Elections member, said we’re going off what the book said, and if there are other ways, they wouldn’t have a problem putting me on the ballot. Allison Fenderson, chair of the board, told me if I want to be on the ballot to pay for it myself. Board member Lewis Bell addressed this by telling her you can’t tell someone who did nothing wrong and came for help to pay for ballots, that’s not right. I’m currently waiting on the board’s decision in writing. I deserve to have the right to run as a candidate under my registered political party.
Rodney Johnson Jr.