One day after Johnston County School Board incumbent Butler Hall of Four Oaks announced that he had not withdrawn his name for re-election, saying the Johnston County GOP Chairman made a mistake in making that assumption, Chairman Darryl Mitchell has responded to Hall’s statement.
Last Friday, Mitchell sent an email to WTSB News indicating Hall had informed the Republican Party he had withdrawn from the race and also declined the GOP’s request to make a public statement as to why he was quitting.
On Monday, Hall said he never told the GOP he was dropping out of the race and that his name being on the ballot speaks for itself. Hall blamed the “misunderstanding” on Chairman Mitchell.
The GOP Chairman released a statement to WTSB News on Tuesday responding to Hall’s claims the GOP made a mistake when they announced Hall was dropping out of the race:
“Mr. Hall did not reply to e-mails, nor did he show up to participate in the Republican School Board candidate forum, as did all the other candidates. He had not sent any regrets, so I reached out to him the next day to see if he was okay. In that phone conversation, he told me he had contacted the County Board of Elections to withdraw from the race, but they told him it was too late to remove his name from the ballot. I asked him if he would issue a press release, as I felt it was important for voters to know of his intentions, and help redirect votes to those still in the race, but he was not interested in doing so.”
“Mr. Hall has not campaigned, he has not participated in any of our meetings or events, and he has not produced any campaign materials—actions that would indicate a candidate’s interest in moving forward. While it is certainly his right to change his mind, it is wrong to say that I “misunderstood,” when clearly his actions and even his statements to WTSB indicate otherwise.”
“How can he request to have his name removed from the ballot, then say he never wanted to withdraw? Considering Mr. Hall’s last place finish among the five Republicans in the primary election, his lack of cooperation and communication with the party, and his inconsistent desire to run for another term, the Johnston County Republican Party can no longer support his candidacy in good faith. We appreciate Mr. Hall’s years of dedicated service to Johnston County Schools, and wish him well with whatever the future holds.
The Johnston County GOP 2018 Voter Guide was recently printed. The GOP endorsed 3 other candidates for school board in November. Hall’s name is marked through with the words “Candidate Withdrawn” beside his name. Mitchell said there are no plans to change or reprint the Guide.