A controversial disqualification is sending ripples throughout North Carolina’s 30th Senate District.
In late May, a group of election officials from North Carolina’s 30th Senate district voted along party lines to disqualify incumbent Senator Phil Berger’s challenger, Jennifer Mangrum, based on her residency in Reidsville.
This occurred due to Eden resident, Billy Franklin Cushman, filing a voter registration and candidacy challenge against Mangrum. Mangrum plans to appeal the decision that disqualified her from challenging Berger, who is not only a state senator but also the President Pro Tempore of North Carolina.
Mangrum is now preparing for a meeting with the North Carolina State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement, a meeting which could result in the decision to disqualify her being overturned. The North Carolina State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement is composed of four Democrats, four Republicans and a single unaffiliated member.
Mangrum has enough commitment to running for office that she’s publicly stated that she’s willing to go to the Supreme Court if need be.
Mangrum, who is running for office as a Democrat, had switched her party affiliation from Republican after Trump was elected. Her Greensboro home was drawn out of Berger’s district, and she began renting a home in Reidsville at the beginning of February in order to run against Berger.
Cushman’s case against Mangrum has been laid out in an affidavit. One of the fundamental claims is that Mangrum has not occupied her rented home since February 11.
Cushman was unable to provide evidence for the claim when asked, saying that he couldn’t recall the source of the information.
When it comes to the possibility of a victory for Mangrum and for the Democratic Party in North Carolina’s Senate District 30 in November, polls suggest that a race between Mangrum and Berger would be close. One poll from Public Policy Polling suggests that Mangrum has a chance against Berger even if it gives him a 16-point advantage, totaling 32 percent for Mangrum and 48 percent for Berger.
Given that 20 percent of those polled claimed that they’d be unsure of who they’d vote for between the two, the poll suggests that there could be time for Mangrum to make an impression and swing the undecided voters in her direction. When asked if they would pick Berger or “someone new,” 49 percent of respondents said they’d pick someone new. 37 percent said they’d pick Berger.
This suggests if Magrum makes it past this disqualification, the election in November could be a toss-up.