NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - At roughly 12:20 p.m. Wednesday, a line of vehicles began circling the parking lot at the New Hanover County Government Center, blasting their horns as they drove past.
Several had signs taped in or on their windows that read: “Remove Rouzer” or “No-Coup,” and a few were waving American flags.
The event, organized by the NC Team Democracy coalition, was mirrored by another drive-by protest in Bolivia, as the group aimed to send a message outside the district offices of Rep. David Rouzer (R-NC07) — though a spokesperson for Rouzer said their New Hanover County office has moved to downtown Wilmington.
Citizens in the group are calling for Rouzer to either resign or for the congressman to be removed over his vote on Jan. 6 to uphold objections to the 2020 presidential election — a vote that took place after armed supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the United States Capitol, resulting in six deaths.
“Rouzer’s votes to trash the election results from Arizona and Pennsylvania were only the final straw in his years of support for Trump’s lies,” the group said in a press release after the event.
Local organizer Leslie Cohen said the group rallied 44 cars in New Hanover County and 19 in Brunswick County — a feat, she said, because the group coordinated the event in just a few days without using social media for fear of attracting a counter protest she said they were worried could get violent.
Cohen placed the blame for the riot at the Capitol squarely on the shoulders of those who, like Rouzer, disputed the results of the 2020 election.
“Let’s be very very clear, the violence that happened last week in Washington, is the direct result of lies that have been spread about the validity and safety of our election, and Representative Rouzer and other like him in continuing to spread those lies, has embolded those violent insurrectionists that we saw on the Capitol,” she said.
WECT reached out to Rouzer’s office about Wednesday’s event and the calls for his resignation.
In response, a spokesperson sent the following statement:
“The Electoral Count Act, the law which governs the process for which a member of the House and the Senate can challenge the validity of an Electoral slate submitted by a state, is not new. It was enacted in 1887 as a result of contested elections in three states in the presidential election of 1876. Since then the Act has been utilized to object to a respective state’s slate of electors in the 1969, 2001, 2005, and 2017 Electoral counts leading up to this one. The debate that took place January 6 was grounded in law and precedent and based on changes to state election laws and procedures that were made by individuals and third parties — not the state legislatures as required by the U.S. Constitution.”
The events in New Hanover and Brunswick counties were part of a statewide day of protest over representatives who voted to sustain the objections, including Reps. Dan Bishop, Ted Budd, Madison Cawthorn, Richard Hudson, Virginia Foxx, and Greg Murphy, all of whom are Republicans.
Sen. Thom Tillis, also a Republican, did not vote in favor of the objections.
Editor’s Note: A spokesperson for Rep. David Rouzer said the congressman’s local district office is no longer located at the government center, as previously reported, though the protest was held there.