RALEIGH – When the N.C. General Assembly enacted Senate Bill 486 over the objections of Gov. Roy Cooper, it included a ‘sore loser’ provision preventing party primary losers from running in the general election with a different party.
It was unclear if the provision would affect a few candidates nominated by the Constitution Party of North Carolina who ran and came up short in Republican primaries in May. The question was made more consequential by assertions from the Constitution Party that, since these candidates were nominated before the law was enacted, the law was an ‘ex post facto’ law that violates the constitution.
That uncertainty was removed late last week when the State Board of Elections blocked those three candidates from running, and the Constitution Party is none too happy. The SBOE response? ‘If ya don’t like it, sue us.’
From the party spokesman, Joe Guarino:
“…we learned that SBOE staff had decided that three of our candidates cannot run for office even though an “ex post facto” law was being applied in flagrant violation of the United States Constitution. When we advised them that this is illegal, the staff basically told us that we can sue the Board if we didn’t like the outcome.
There has also been a recent pattern of Board non-responsiveness to inquiries and phone calls and questions. They are supposed to act as a resource to provide good customer service to North Carolina citizens, but they don’t seem to care.
I do not know whether there are Republican “plants” on the SBOE staff.
It is extremely disappointing to witness this level of corruption within North Carolina state government.”
Somewhere along the line someone made the call that this law was to target the Constitution Party of NC in THIS cycle, punishing those Republicans that defected. Whether that was officials within the Board itself, or if they had some encouragement from lawmakers, it is quite concerning that individual’s freedom to run for office can be blocked in this manner. Especially considering they got in under the wire of this law taking effect.
What do you think? Should they be allowed to run? Is the SBOE overstepping?
Should the Constitution Party of NC take them to court?