In a bombshell story tonight, the News & Observer reported that the resignations of Ken Raymond and David Black from the State Board of Elections were “not voluntary,” according to Black’s wife. The story suggests that leaders in the North Carolina Republican Party pressured Raymond and Black to resign.
Black’s wife, Deb, wrote on Facebook, “The GOP chairman neglected to mention that these resignations were not voluntary. They were told to resign. Sad times when republicans are firing intelligent and trustworthy republicans.”
The NC GOP’s spokesperson confirmed that Raymond and Black had a phone call with the party’s counsel and that GOP leaders expressed they were “very unhappy” shortly before the pair resigned from the Board of Elections. At a press conference on Friday, Speaker Tim Moore and Senate Leader Phil Berger claimed that Raymond and Black resigned because they had been “misinformed, deceived or lied to.”
NCDP Communications Director Austin Cook released the following statement:
“Tonight’s news report shows that Republican leaders in our state forced two of their own members to resign from the Board of Elections all so they could stage a phony controversy and undermine the public’s faith in our election.
“This is a despicable betrayal of the people of North Carolina — Tim Moore, Phil Berger, Dan Forest and Thom Tillis sought to undermine the credibility of our state’s election process in a craven last ditch power grab. There is no tactic to which these men will not sink. With less than 40 days until the election, Moore, Berger, Forest and Tillis must all own up to what they knew about this twisted scheme and when.”