Sometimes the illegal cronyism is so blatant that even Kim Strach has to call foul.
In an unusual move, the executive director of the State Board of Elections is refusing to confirm the appointment of a new director at the Duplin County Board of Elections, citing concerns over the way the candidate was chosen by the local board, which includes two Republicans and a Democrat.
The Duplin County board appointed a pickle factory worker with no elections oversight experience and argued to the SBOE that he was the most qualified individual. So Kim asked for the documentation demonstrating that he was the most qualified individual. The Duplin County board declined to provide that documentation.
Before denying the appointment, Strach had requested from the Duplin board all job applications submitted by candidates interviewed for the position in late June, a list of the questions asked of the candidates, all notes and scoring sheets prepared by Duplin board members and any “additional items that support your position that Mr. Hudson was the most qualified candidate from among the pool of applicants considered for the position...”
Walker responded to Strach that he was advised that those documents are “protective,” and shouldn’t be disclosed to anyone.
Applicants apparently included at least two people who already work in the county elections board -- the interim director and interim deputy director -- with many years of experience who apparently are well qualified.
Both of those elections workers are African-American females. The pickle factory worker with no elections experience who was appointed is a white male.
According to articles in the Duplin Times, some had suggested that race played a factor in the decision, as two current county elections workers with 10 and 14 years of experience at the Duplin board weren’t chosen. Both the interim director and the interim deputy director are African-American females, according to the paper. Hudson is white.
Kim Strach did the right thing. The Duplin County Board of Elections needs to be replaced too.