Carthage Mayor Lee McGraw has resigned his position after withdrawing from the November mayoral race, according to the Town of Carthage.
A search of voting records revealed that McGraw had moved outside the town limits of Carthage. McGraw remarried last year and made a decision to move into his wife’s home.
His new residence is within Carthage’s ETJ district, but North Carolina statutes require that officials candidates for local municipal offices reside within the town limits.
The Moore County Board of Elections held a special meeting Monday during which an emotional McGraw addressed the board and withdrew from the race.
“I want to thank you for everything you do,” said McGraw. “I know how hard your work. When this was called to my attention, I never considered it. I only wanted to serve my town. This is tough. It was an oversight, but it’s the law. I resigned this morning (from the election). I love Carthage.”
After a closed session, the board announced that they had accepted McGraw’s withdraw from the race. They also announced that new ballots were in the process of being printed, and recertification of the voting machines would be completed in time for the start of one-stop voting on October 16.
McGraw has immediate plans to continue to serve the town.
“I will be signing up today to serve on the Town Appearance Committee,” said McGraw.
There are three candidates remaining in the race. Jimmy Chalflinch, Kevin Lewis, and George H. Wilson, Jr. are facing each other in the November election.
The election is on Tuesday, November 5, with early voting running from October 16 to November 1.
Carthage Mayor Pro-Tem Milton T. Dowdy, Jr. will serve as mayor until the new mayor is sworn at the December Town Council Meeting.
Photo of Lee McGraw via Town of Carthage.
~ Written by Sandhills Sentinel Local News/Government Reporter Chris Prentice.
Contact him at [email protected] or (910) 639-9303