State senator Michael Lee files lawsuit against opponent Marcia Morgan over campaign ad

State senator Michael Lee files lawsuit against opponent Marcia Morgan over campaign ad
Published: Oct. 3, 2022 at 1:43 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Incumbent state senator Michael Lee (R-New Hanover) has filed a lawsuit against his opponent in the upcoming General Election, Marcia Morgan, and her political campaign committee over a television ad running for the District 7 race.

The lawsuit, filed Monday in New Hanover County Superior Court, seeks a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction against Morgan and the campaign, prohibiting them from running the television ad that Lee calls “false and defamatory”. The lawsuit says Morgan’s claims that Lee used his political position as state senator “to serve his real estate clients” are untrue, and seeks damages for defaming Lee’s law firm.

“Marcia Morgan has spent this campaign lying about my positions on the issues, but this ad falsely attacking my law firm and partners is not only laughably false, it is defamatory,” Lee said in a statement contained inside a news release. “There are legal and political consequences when you lie and defame people and small businesses. Marcia Morgan is going to learn the political consequences on November 8, but the legal consequences could last longer.”

“The voters of New Hanover County deserve to know the facts about who is representing them in the state senate,” Morgan said in an email statement to WECT. “As I travel the district and talk to voters, I hear a lot of concern about the overdevelopment and traffic in our county. Michael Lee, in his law practice, has been a part of many of the development deals that have caused this out-of-control growth and burdened our roadways – voters deserve to know that when they head to the polls in November. I stand behind the facts in my ad and welcome the opportunity to defend them through the legal process.”

Lee is seeking re-election to the seat that represents nearly all of New Hanover County in the state senate. Morgan was selected by the New Hanover County Democratic Party to be the District 7 nominee after original candidate Jason Minizcozzi withdrew in late June. Morgan has sought legislative office twice, running for the District 19 seat in the state House of Representatives, losing to Ted Davis in 2018 and to Charlie Miller in 2020.

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