Local News

Troxler Growing Frustrated With State Ag Controversy

Posted January 31, 2005

— Most political races have a winner and a loser. Republican Challenger Steve Troxler leads the state agriculture commissioner race over Democrat Britt Cobb, but with more than 4,400 votes lost in Carteret County because of a voting machine malfunction, the race is still up in the air.

Attorneys for Troxler said they are losing patience. On Jan. 12, the judge overruled a decision by the State Board of Elections calling for a new statewide election, sending the issue back to the board to resolve.

Troxler is so frustrated by the board's inaction that his attorneys filed a motion Friday, asking a Wake County judge to find the Board of Elections in contempt of court.

A letter sent to Troxler's attorneys highlighted two reasons for the delay. First, the two Republican board members had scheduling conflicts -- one had surgery and another was going out of the country.

Second, the 30-day appeal process had not run its course. Troxler's attorneys said the board does not have to wait.

"The court has ordered them to act and the reason the court has ordered them to act is we are now three months past the time this should have been resolved," said Marshall Hurley, Troxler's attorney.

Incumbent Britt Cobb has said it is only fair to let the process run its course. Tim McKay, Cobb's spokesperson, said he can only assume the board is doing its job in the quickest manner possible. He does not think the contempt allegation is fair.

"I think it shows disrespect for the rule of law and the tough decision the board is in," Cobb said.

A decision could come at the board meeting scheduled for Friday, Feb. 4.

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