GOP candidate ruled ineligible to run – which could leave this Democrat unopposed

Jeff Jackson speaks to District 37 Democrats.
Jeff Jackson speaks to District 37 Democrats. rlahser@charlotteobserver.com

Sen. Jeff Jackson, a Mecklenburg County Democrat, could be the only state Senate candidate running unopposed after the county's Board of Elections rejected the candidacy of Republican Nora Trotman.

Trotman says she'll appeal the decision, which came in response to two complaints claiming she is ineligible to run as a Republican in Senate District 37. One complaint was that she hadn't been registered as a Republican for at least 90 days prior to filing, while the other complaint took issue with the fact that her filing paperwork wasn't delivered in person, by mail or by a courier service. Trotman's paperwork was delivered by NC Republican Party executive director Dallas Woodhouse.

In the Mecklenburg Board of Elections meeting this week, board members noted that Trotman did not appear in person to defend her eligibility. Trotman promised to appeal to the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement in a statement posted to her Twitter and Facebook pages.

"Despite political consultants and lawyers trying to undermine my candidacy as a conservative millennial woman, I refuse to give up," she wrote. "I will fight back with the same tenacity that I'd use to fight for my constituents."

Woodhouse said he expects Trotman to prevail. He said her paperwork was delivered in line with long-accepted practices and that the NCGOP has records showing she has been affiliated with the party, including dues paid to a Young Republicans group.

The complaints against Trotman were among numerous candidate challenges filed this year across the state.

Next week, the Mecklenburg board will review a challenge against Democrat Brandon Lofton, who is running against Rep. Andy Dulin, a Mecklenburg County Republican. The challenge claims that Lofton does not reside in the House district. Rep. Justin Burr, a Stanly County Republican, and former Sen. Bob Rucho, who's seeking an open Senate seat in Iredell and Mecklenburg counties, are both facing similar residency challenges.