Judge rejects senator’s request to immediately take down opponent’s campaign ad, trial forthcoming

Judge Phyllis Gorham has rejected N.C. State Senator Michael Lee’s request to have an advertisement by his political opponent immediately taken down.
Published: Oct. 6, 2022 at 1:23 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Judge Phyllis Gorham has rejected N.C. State Senator Michael Lee’s request to have an advertisement by his political opponent immediately taken down, but the lawsuit will still proceed to trial.

Lee’s office announced the rejection in a press release that expressed his disappointment with the decision on Thursday, Oct. 6.

The lawsuit filed on Monday in the New Hanover County Superior Court requested a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction against his opponent in the District 7 race, Marcia Morgan, and her campaign committee. The lawsuit says that the ad falsely claims that Lee used his position as senator to help his real estate clients and seeks damages for defamation.

“One day soon, a jury of New Hanover citizens will pass judgment on her defamatory advertisement. In the meantime, all New Hanover voters will pass judgment on Morgan’s course of behavior on November 8th,” said Lee, responding to the judge’s decision.

Marcia Morgan released the following statement:

“I am pleased that the court has seen Mr. Lee’s request for an injunction for what it is, a political stunt. While he may not want the facts out there, the voters of New Hanover County deserve to know who is representing them in Raleigh when they go to the polls next month. I stand behind the facts of my ad and look forward to defending those facts in court as this lawsuit moves through the legal channels.”