An Oct. 5 blog post on the Durham County Democratic Party Web site features a cartoon of two donkeys tied by a rope, with bales of hay at opposite ends of the frame. At first, the Democratic Party mascots lunge toward the bale closest to each of them, which only chokes them. Finally, the two donkeys walk together toward one bale of hay, and enjoy the fruits of their labor together. The image is intended to portray party unity, and accompanies a message to vote the Obama Straight Flip. (Vote Barack Obama for President, and straight-ticket for all state partisan races, then flip over the voting form to choose non-partisan judges endorsed by the Democratic Party.)
However, a recent mailing sent out by the State Democratic Party appears to have cut one candidate loose. Floyd McKissick Jr., who is running for state senate on the Democratic ticket, is conspicuously absent from a reminder sent to voters living in his district.
The glossy brochure contains a sample ballot, with Republican candidates names conveniently whited out. The legislative candidates corresponding to specific mailing addresses are printed under the header, Dont forget to vote for
A mailing sent to a Lakewood addresswhich includes N.C. Senate District 20 (Floyd McKissick), N.C. House District 29 (Larry Hall), and U.S. Congressional District 4 (David Price)contains Halls and Prices names, but not McKissicks.
Initially State Democratic Party Director of Communications Kerra Bolton told the Indy that McKissicks name was not included because his opponents campaign has been suspended.
However, Mike Ashe, director of the Durham County Board of Elections, confirmed that no candidate in the District 20 race had suspended their campaign, or withdrawn from the race.
They are on the ballot no matter what they do at this point, he added.
Moreover, although Bolton tried to clarify her point by saying she meant Republican candidate Ken Chandler had withdrawn, McKissick also faces Libertarian challenger, David Rollins.
Not surprisingly, McKissick was irked when he learned that his name was missing from the campaign brochure.
Its frustrating to me to hear that somebody made a mistake and did not bother to call me and make an inquiry about it, McKissick told the Indy.
If theyve been following the local news articles, they wouldve certainly seen that this gentleman is actively campaigning, he said, referring to Chandler. Its disappointing.
Even if Chandler had dropped out of the race, McKissick would still face Rollinsand, as Ashe noted, all three candidates currently appear on the ballot, no matter what happens. Larry Hall, the Democratic candidate for House District 29, faces no Republican challenger, yet his name still appears on the mailing. His only opponent is Libertarian candidate Justin Lallinger.
Asked whether the Democratic Party considered Libertarian candidates to be legitimate contenders, Bolton refused to respond.
You asked me one question, and I answered it, she said.
(Bolton said she did not know if the State Democratic Party printed the names of other state senators who face no Republican challengers, such as Paul Luebke, whose only opponent for the District 30 seat is Libertarian Sean Haugh.)
After speaking with McKissick, and informing him of the State Democratic Partys answer, the Indy received a call back from Bolton.
I misspoke, she said. Ive been told it was a printing error.