Local News

State Supreme Court Puts May Primary On Hold

Posted April 30, 2002 3:24 a.m. EDT

— The State Supreme Court stopped the races for the State Senate and House. The action could put the May 7 primary on hold.

State Republicans said the Legislature's redistricting for local seats favors Democrats. The North Carolina Supreme Court ruled that districts drawn near Wilmington, Greensboro and Wilkesboro violate the state's constitution and cross county lines.

Bernard Allen has his state House campaign signs ready. It is the first time he has ever run in any election and one he will remember.

"I plan a full court press until the election day, whenever that is," he said.

Allen said he is not happy about the state Supreme Court's decision.

"I think it's going to create problems for the citizens of this state to participate in the electoral process," he said.

Only state House and Senate races are on hold May 7. Other statewide offices, like the U.S. Senate race, are still on for now, but that could soon change.

State Elections Director Gary Bartlett said the state Legislature could push back all of the races to this fall. The theory is by bumping them all back, state officials hope the state districting dispute is settled, so there can be just one primary.

"Certainly, you have got to have enough time to run your election," Bartlett said.

The state Supreme Court will hear full arguments on the districting case early next month. If the state has to hold two separate primaries, officials estimate it could cost taxpayers at least an extra $3 million.