Chesnutt will appear on May ballot, despite suspending campaign

Published 7:25 pm Thursday, March 8, 2018

Former N.C. House of Representatives hopeful Jim Chesnutt will still appear on the Republican primary ballot, despite announcing his withdraw of his candidacy on Wednesday.

According to Beaufort County Board of Elections Director Kellie Hopkins, because Chesnutt missed the Feb. 23 deadline to formally withdraw his candidacy, he will still appear alongside Republican contender Keith Kidwell on the May 8 ballot.

“Mr. Chesnutt can decide to publicly announce to the voters of North Carolina House District 79 that he will no longer actively campaign for the seat or suspend his campaign, but his name will be on the ballot, and the votes will be counted,” Hopkins said in an email to the WDN.

According to North Carolina General statute 163-106 (e), “Any person who has filed notice of candidacy for an office shall have the right to withdraw it at any time prior to the close of business on the third business day prior to the date on which the right to file for that office expires under the terms of subsection (c) of this section. If a candidate does not withdraw before the deadline, except as provided in G.S. 163-112(Death of a candidate), his name shall be printed on the primary ballot, any votes for him shall be counted, and he shall not be refunded his filing fee.”

Hopkins went on to say that a similar situation arose in 2016 when Arthur Williams suspended his campaign prior to the March primary.

“This also happened in the Republican Primary in March 2016 when Arthur Williams suspended his campaign for North Carolina House District 6,” Hopkins said in her email. “Mr. Williams publicly announced that he was not actively campaigning for the seat. Mr. Williams was a candidate along with Republicans Ashley Woolard and Beverly Boswell. Ms. Boswell won the primary and eventually the election and is currently the North Carolina District 6 House Member.”