A citizen went to the Durham Board of Elections today to formally challenged the candidacy of Roy Taylor, a Republican candidate for sheriff who doesn't meet the one-year residency requirement to become sheriff, said elections Director Mike Ashe.
The citizen who is protesting happens to be former Durham County Sheriff Roland Leary, who is a financial supporter of incumbent Sheriff Worth Hill.
With Leary's protest, the Durham Board of Elections will now schedule a quasi-judicial hearing, likely in the days following the Nov. 2 election, Ashe said. At the hearing, the board will interview subpoenaed witnesses and examine evidence that would prove Taylor doesn't meet the requirement to be sheriff because he has lived in Wake County part of the past year.
The hearing will only go on as scheduled if Taylor earns more votes than Hill in the general election. If Hill wins, the hearing will be canceled, Ashe said.
The issue of residency arose last week after Taylor confirmed he hasn't lived in Durham County for a consecutive year, as required by state law. But Taylor said several attorneys have advised him that the N.C. Constitution only requires sheriff candidates to live in their base county for 30 days. He said he plans to defend this eligibility with this argument if he wins the election.