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GOP Recruits Democrats for State Auditors Race

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RALEIGH — When North Carolina Democrats vote in the May primary, they will choose from three candidates for state auditor. Among them, a man recruited from a homeless shelter by Republicans because of his name. It is a move that has angered Democrats and embarrassed some Republicans.

"Those kinds of actions tend to be a mockery of the system," says Dan Gurley of theN.C. Republican Party.

Republican party leaders are talking about the actions of one of their own.

"We certainly do not condone what he did," says Gurley when asked if Jack Daly is an embarrassment to the Republican Party.

Daly wants to be the next state auditor. Four years ago he lost a close race to incumbent Democrat Ralph Campbell.

This time around, Kenneth Campbell is also on the ticket as a Democrat. He was recruited for the race and his $1,000 filing was fee paid for by GOP operative Nate Pendley, a close associate of Daly's.

Although the filing papers list a High Point address as his home, Campbell was living in a shelter for men when he was approached by Pendley. The address on the form is actually that of Ken Campbell's brother in High Point.

Also recruited by Pendley is Pamela Ann Connell. Pendley submitted her papers and the $1,003 filing fee the same time Daly was submitting his documents.

Democrats are upset, but say they are not surprised that the reason the Republicans want three similar names on the ballot is to confuse voters.

"We deserve better," says State Auditor Ralph Campbell. "It's a mockery of the system, a cruel hoax on this gentleman."

"It's these kinds of activities, more than anything else, that lead to the cynicism that by anybody's account that we have in our political process today," say Scott Falmen of theN.C. Democratic Party..

By telephone, Daly told WRAL's David Crabtree, "I have nothing to hide. Though I can't take credit for encouraging two Democrats to challenge the incumbent, I'm delighted they are. I believe the public is well served by more choices, not fewer."

Kenneth Campbell's campaign may never happen. The Guilford County Election Board will hold a special hearing Monday to determine whether he meets the residency requirements to actually make it on to the ballot.