Political newcomer Loring Martin’s candidacy for the Lee County Board of Education came to an end Tuesday night when the Lee County Board of Elections decided he did not meet the 90 day party registration requirement to seek local office.
Martin was one of three Republicans who filed on Feb. 16 (subscription required) to seek on of three seats on the school board, but elections officials called a special meeting after the fact that he’d registered to vote in North Carolina on the same day came to light. State elections law requires candidates for partisan office to be a member of the party they’re seeking to represent on the ballot for 90 days prior to filing.
In correspondence between state and local election officials, a state official reportedly said voter registration in another state does not count toward the 90-day requirement.
The Lee County Board of Education had been a nonpartisan body until 2013, when friend of the Rant and then-state Rep. Mike Stone sponsored a local bill changing the way school board and Sanford City Council elections are held. Democrats have three candidates for the seats – incumbents Mark Akinosho and Opehlia Livingston, and newcomer Pat McCracken.
It was unclear Tuesday night whether Republicans had a replacement candidate in mind. The candidate filing period for the 2018 election cycle closes on Wednesday at noon.