Local Politics

Lawmakers dogged by problems defeated

Posted May 7, 2008 1:03 p.m. EDT

— Two state House members who have been battered by ethics or criminal charges were defeated in Tuesday's primary.

State Reps. Mary McAllister, D-Cumberland, and Joe Boylan, R-Moore, lost their bids for re-election. They were among four incumbents who lost to primary challengers.

The State Board of Elections ruled last year that McAllister committed a "substantial violation" of rules governing campaign finances. She deposited money from her campaign into her personal account and was repaid for a nonexistent loan to her campaign, the board ruled.

Her campaign paid a $16,000 fine for the violations.

Boylan was charged last month with drunken driving after his car ran into a ditch on a rural road outside Cameron.

He also was found to be the least effective sitting House member in an annual survey by the independent North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research.

Former Rep. Thomas Wright, the only House member to finish behind Boylan in the survey, also was beaten at the polls Tuesday – his third defeat in the past two months.

Wright, who was expelled from the House in March for ethics violations and was convicted of fraud last month, garnered 10 percent of the vote for his seat in New Hanover and Pender counties. Sandra Hughes, who was appointed to Wright's seat last month, won the primary in a landslide with 75 percent of the votes.