Local News

Judge Says N.C. State Junior Can Run For City Council

Posted August 20, 2003 12:26 p.m. EDT

— A Raleigh City Council candidate who originally was declared too young to run for elective office has been allowed to run.

Twenty-year-old Zack Medford has cleared the final hurdle on the way to October's municipal elections.

Medford fought the law and won.

"Gosh," he said. "I'm just really excited."

Citing state law, the Wake County Board of Elections had disqualified Medford in his bid to win a seat on Raleigh's City Council. Candidates have to be 21 to hold public office.

Medford will turn 21 before the new council is sworn in. Last week, a Wake County judge overturned the disqualification, and the elections board has elected not to appeal.

"We simply decided that as far as we are concerned, we will leave it to the voters in October to decide," said John Gilbert of the Wake County Board of Elections.

Medford said that "when that judge went ahead and said my name should be on the ballot, it was such a relief.

"Now I can focus all my time campaigning," he said.

A ballot shows Medford will be up against three candidates in District D.

A junior at North Carolina State, Medford is majoring in Business Management. On the campaign trail, he will face questions about his Web site, which displayed sexually explicit material and degraded women.

He said that is in the past, and he wants to focus on the campaign.

"We don't need to worry about, you know, press relations," he said. "We need to worry about our city and how to make it great."

Benson Kirkman, the incumbent from District D, said he welcomes Medford to the race. Kirkman said he hopes Medford runs on the right issues.

Both Kirkman and Medford are courting the college student vote.

Wake County's municipal elections will be held Oct. 7.