SOUTHEASTERN NC (WECT) - Saying they want state officials to continue their investigation, the Bladen County Board of Commissioners on Monday night nevertheless adopted a resolution to certify political races in the county, including one at the center of an ongoing election fraud case.
The resolution asking the state Board of Elections to certify the three races passed 5-4. Arthur Bullock, one of the four who voted against the measure, confirmed the vote during a phone interview Monday night as did Board Chairman Charles Ray Peterson.
The most high profile race involves District 9 U.S. House of Representatives candidates Mark Harris and Dan McCready. Harris, a Republican, unofficially defeated McCready, a Democrat, by 905 votes.
When asked if he supports Harris, Peterson replied, “He was the one who won the election.”
Russell Priest winning the District 3 commissioner race and Earl Storms winning district supervisor of soil and water are the other two races Bladen commissioners want certified.
A Democrat joined four Republicans in favor of passing the resolution and a Republican joined three Democrats who voted against it, according to a Bladen Journal story.
Peterson said he voted for the measure “so we have representation in Washington. We want to proceed with the investigation, but we want to be represented in Washington.”
When asked if he thought Priest should have recused himself from the vote given that his race is one of the three commissioners were asking the BOE to move forward with certifying, Peterson said he had no problem with Priest voting.
The state board has an evidentiary hearing scheduled for Jan. 11.