In his withdrawal from the race for Durham sheriff, candidate Roy Taylor said Tuesday he didn't know candidates had to live in the county where they were running for a year prior to election. Taylor indicated that he wasn't notified of the requirement when he filed for office with Board of Elections Director Mike Ashe.
However, Ashe responded Wednesday that he spent a lengthy time meeting with Taylor when he filed, and that he specifically told Taylor he had to have been in Durham a year prior to the election. Ashe said he believes there was a miscommunication.
"Maybe he and I remember it differently," Ashe said. "I remember asking him and being comfortable with his answer, that he met the requirements."
Ashe said he regrets the misunderstanding and understands Taylor's disappointment.
"Any time something goes wrong wrong in the election business in Durham, I am part of that," Ashe said. "I apologize and feel bad about that."
Taylor had said he would send an official withdrawal letter to the BOE today. Although he is withdrawing, Taylor's name will still appear on ballots, Ashe said, but votes for him will not be reported in voting results.
Taylor's ineligibility gives incumbent Sheriff Worth Hill a free pass to his fifth consecutive term. Hill has not yet been reached for comment.