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Lawmakers Try To Stay Away From State Ag Controversy

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The contested state Agriculture Commissioner's race between Britt Cobb and Steve Troxler is in the hands of the state Board of Elections right now. Cobb would like to see the Democrat-controlled Legislature get involved to save his job, but most lawmakers will not touch the issue for now.

The issue is over lost votes in Carteret County and who should get to revote in the tight race. Some lawmakers feel the voters have spoken.

"[If] I would have lost the race, I would have conceded and that's what I would personally do. I'm not advising him to do anything. It's just my position of what I would do as an individual," said Senate President Pro Tem Marc Basnight.

While Basnight would not say whether Cobb needs to drop out, others said the writing is on the wall.

"If you look at it, in all honesty, I love Britt Cobb and he's a wonderful person, but it does appear that Mr. Troxler has won that race," said Sen. Charlie Alberton, D-Duplin.

"I think the people that voted, they don't want to go back and vote a second time and their votes should be heard," said Rep. Dewey Hill, D-Columbus.

The state Constitution requires the Legislature to resolve contested elections, but the state Supreme Court and the state Board of Elections could resolve the dispute without it going to the Legislature.

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