Local News

Steve Monks Fails To Get Enough Signatures To Run As Durham DA Candidate

Posted June 30, 2006 8:48 a.m. EDT

— Attorney Steve Monks announced Friday that he does not have enough signatures to run as a possible candidate for the Durham District Attorney's position.

Monks and Lewis Cheek have been collecting signatures of registered voters. Each potential candidate needs 6,300 signatures from registered voters to get on the ballot. Noon was the deadline to hand over the petitions. Monks fell short with about 5,000 signatures.

"I'm disappointed that people don't have the possibility of another choice," Monks said. "Am I disappointed? Certainly. But I can go to sleep tonight and I guarantee I will."

Monks said his effort was slowed by a four-day jury trial, among other obstacles.

Cheek may still have a shot. He said earlier this week that he had collected the signatures required for him to appear on the ballot along with incumbent District Attorney Mike Nifong. Jackie Brown, Cheek's campaign manager, turned in about 10,000 signatures on her candidate's behalf Friday.

"We appreciate the effort that was made in such a short time," Brown said. "It was a huge mountain to climb, but we're at the top of the mountain at this time."

Monks and Cheek wanted to challenge Nifong. Both said they were unhappy with the way he has handled the

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The state Board of Elections has to verify the signatures Cheek has collected. Mike Ashe, Durham County's elections director, said workers may need two to three weeks to certify the signatures and that they'll stop counting at about 6,500.

However, Cheek isn't sure he will run.

"I still have to think through a whole lot of complicated issues, both professionally and personally," said Cheek.

Cheek said he wants to do what's best for the community, although that may be a difficult thing to gauge.

"If I look at it and I think it's going to be more divisive than anything else, I can guarantee you I won't run for district attorney, I just won't do that," he said.