Judges orders Selma candidates on ballot
By Rick Stewart, Editor & Publisher
Aug 29, 2005, 12:57
Judge Knox Jenkins Jr. ruled Monday that Charles Hester, candidate for mayor, and Tommy Holmes, town council candidate, for the town of Selma will be on the ballot in November. The two filed for office at town hall in Selma before the noon, Aug. 5, deadline, but the filings did not reach the Johnston County Board of Elections before noon.
The town of Selma filed a lawsuit against the board of elections asking the court to deem the filings valid and allow the men on the ballot.
Before hearing the case Jenkins said that the most important of elected officials are local town council members and county commissioners, because they most directly effect the lives of citizens.
"This is no trivial matter," said Jenkins. "It is very important to everyone."
He added that both parties, the town of Selma and the Johnston County Board of Elections, were interested in the same thing—"the welfare of our citizens."
Jenkins went over the undisputed facts of the case. He said the board of an individual was authorized to receive filings (town clerk Fran Davis) and that the law mandates that the filings must be received at noon on the deadline day.
"The candidates filed with a designee of the board of election and those filings were delivered to the board by 4 p.m. on the same day," said Jenkins, stating the facts of the case. "The board (of elections) designated a person at a different location and that designee was acting as an agent of the board of elections to receive filings."
Jenkins said when the candidates filed with the town agent, designated by the board of elections, they filed with the board of elections.
He added that the board of elections, however, had no legal choice by to challenge the filings by law.
"The attorney for the county (Mark Paine) concedes that the court has jurisdiction under extraordinary circumstances to provide extraordinary relief and I belief it is in order here," said Jenkins. "Both parties should be commented for taking the positions they have in this matter."
He said the two sides have not taken an adversarial position against one another. He commented the board of elections on it performance, saying that the "of elections over the years have done an extraordinary job."
Paine said he agreed with the judge’s statement of the facts of the case. Jenkins said he believes it is fair to grant the candidates the opportunity to run for public office.