Under the Dome

Strach in, Bartlett out at elections board

The new Republican-controlled State Board of Elections Wednesday chose Kim Strach, a veteran campaign investigator, to be the elections board director.

The board chose Strach to replace Gary Bartlett who has been elections director for the past 20 years.

The vote was 3-2 along party-lines, with the Democrats saying they had not had time to examine Strach's credentials and thought there should be a longer transition for Bartlett. Bartlett was appointed by Democrats.

On Friday, Republican Gov. Pat McCrory named all new members to the elections board. The previous board’s terms were up on April 30, and the new board’s Republican majority reflects the party in power in the governor’s office as is typical.
Strach had worked for the state elections campaign staff the past 13 years. She was heavily involved in the investigations of such political figures as former House Speaker Jim Black, former Agriculture Commissioner Meg Scott Phipps, former state Reps. Thomas Wright and Michael Decker and former Govs. Mike Easley and Bev Perdue. All but Decker are Democrats.

Josh Howard, a Raleigh attorney who was chosen to be the new elections board chairman, called Strach experienced and “tough as nails.”

“Kim has spent many years investigating the powerful,” Howard said. “That is not easy to do.”

Howard said some of Strach’s toughness may have come from her time as a probation and parole officer in Kinston. She worked there before becoming an elections official.

He noted that she had won support across the ideological spectrum, winning an award from Common Cause for her work. He said that Strach is registered unaffiliated, although in the past Democrats have complained that she was married to the general counsel to the state Republican Party.

Her appointment was praised by Bob Hall of Democracy North Carolina, a Durham watch dog group, who said she was an experienced investigator.

“I think she is a good choice,” Hall said. “I respect her work.”

Howard said that Bartlett had done “important and effective work for the past 20 years. But even when a sports team gets a new general manager they get a new head coach.” Bartlett’s term ends May 15 and Howard asked him to stay until then.


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Strach is an excellent choice! Watt is NOT!

wow, great choice for SBOE director!

of course we have Obongo picking the supreme race baiter
SOB Mel Watt for home finance mgr...How many millions will HE abscond with like Franklin Raines who left with $94 MILLION from you?

Cars View All
Find a Car
Jobs View All
Find a Job
Homes View All
Find a Home

Want to post a comment?

In order to join the conversation, you must be a member of Click here to register or to log in.