RALEIGH, N.C. — Lawyers for Democratic incumbent Britt Cobb and his Republican challenger, Steve Troxler, appeared in court Thursday to discuss January's special election to decide who will be the new state Agriculture commissioner.
The special election was called for after a voting machine malfunctioned in Carteret County, losing more than 4,400 votes.
Workers for both agriculture commissioner hopefuls are back in Carteret County Thursday looking for votes even though each campaign is appealing the special election.
Cobb argues military servicemen and women overseas and other absentee voters will be unfairly excluded. Plus, the one-stop voting period will not be allowed. Cobb has called for a statewide election.
Troxler, who holds a narrow lead in the race, contends the Carteret special election should be restricted only to the people whose votes were lost on Election Day.
A special election may favor Troxler because Carteret County is predominately Republican. Wake County Superior Court Judge Henry Hight hopes to have a ruling by Friday.
The judge also heard another election challenge. Bill Fletcher, who lost his bid to become superintendent of Public Instruction to June Atkinson, continues to challenge the legality of thousands of provisional ballots.