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Campaigning Gearing Up In Carteret County

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CARTERET COUNTY, N.C. — The campaigning in Carteret County is under way.

The candidates for Agriculture Commissioner have set up shop there for the Jan. 11 special election.

Just under 2,300 votes separate Republican Steve Troxler and Democrat Britt Cobb. About 4,300 votes that were lost in an electronic voting machine in Carteret County could be enough to make a difference in this race.

As many as 20,000 voters there will likely determine the outcome of the race.

"You know, you gear up for Nov. 2 and here it is the middle of December and this thing isn't decided," said Zane Hedgecock, who works for the Troxler campaign. "It will probably go on another month. It's very tiresome."

The tight margin in the race has voters in the county concerned that their votes count.

"I want my vote to count," said Troy Edwards, a Carteret County voter. "I want to be loyal to the candidate I voted for originally."

The voters whose ballots were lost in the machine can vote again Jan. 11comma along with any other Carteret registered voter who missed the general election.

Troxler is setting up a mobile campaign headquarters at a vegetable and fruit stand. Cobb is also setting up his Carteret campaign and plans to run TV and radio spots starting this week.

"This race doesn't usually get the publicity that other races have," said Tim McKay of the Cobb campaign. "Obviously, we have to get voters to the polls."

Cobb has appealed the order for the special election. He wants it to include absentee ballots. He's also pushing for a statewide revote.

Cobb will continue to serve as Ag Commissioner until this election is decided. It's possible that the race will not be decided before the Jan. 15 inauguration.

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