05/07/12 — Mayoral candidates plan to unseat King, Allen

View Archive

Mayoral candidates plan to unseat King, Allen

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on May 7, 2012 1:46 PM

An online post by a Goldsboro mayoral candidate says he plans not only to unseat incumbent Al King, but to remove Mayor Pro Tempore Chuck Allen through either a write-in campaign with a fellow mayoral candidate or by bringing a federal investigation against him.

D.A. Stuart revealed his political strategy in a Facebook post he said he authored last Thursday.

The post spells out the three possible outcomes from Tuesday's primary which will eliminate one of the three mayoral candidates, leaving a pair to compete for votes for the city's general election either June 26 or July 17.

He explains that if King is eliminated, it doesn't matter who wins between himself and challenger Henry Jinnette because with the incumbent gone "the cycle will have been broken."

Stuart pledges to support Jinnette in the case that he is eliminated, but says that the most likely outcome will be a general election showdown between himself and King.

If that's the case, he said in the post, he'll ask Jinnette to campaign as a write-in candidate for the District 5 seat currently held by Allen. Allen is running unopposed in that race.

In the post, Stuart also touts his experience in law enforcement and says that if elected, he would use his "clout" and information gathered from others to bring a felony indictment against Allen, adding that convicted felons are disqualified from holding public office.

Stuart oversimplifies that statute, however, as candidates convicted of felonies who have paid their debt to society can have their voting rights restored.

In the Facebook post, Stuart doesn't identify Allen by name in insinuating the councilman may have committed crimes, but he told the Goldsboro News-Argus Friday that Allen was the member of the council he was referring to.

This isn't the first time Stuart has made accusations about Allen as he circulated pamphlets during the 2007 election claiming that King was running for mayor only to resign and "hand" the mayorship over to Allen, allowing the council to handpick a council member for District 5.

Stuart has, again, claimed that conspiracy to be imminent, but King insisted he intends to serve his term if elected, even getting indignant about the questioning of alternative plans.

"That's an insult. Why would I run if I don't intend to serve?" King asked, raising his voice. "To me it's an insult. Why would I run if I don't intend to serve. Have I dropped out yet? This same thing came up four years ago. The same thing, saying I want to fly with my son and all this stuff. I don't know where this garbage comes from.

"If I'm elected I will serve."

King himself was the one to float the idea of him sitting this election out to travel with his son last spring in an interview with the Goldsboro News-Argus, saying he was not sure, at that time, if he would run for his third consecutive four-year term. He said that a conviction to public service had kept him running and said he felt "something will tell me when it's time to go."

King claims the conspiracy against him is nothing more than political theater, but as for the Stuart-Jinnette plot to take down two incumbents by any means necessary, both parties say they're in it together.

Jinnette said that he would run as a write-in candidate for the District 5 seat if he lost the initial primary Tuesday, but said he was confident he would win, claiming that 95 percent of the people he spoke with at the early voting site at Wayne County Public Library's Goldsboro branch indicated he had their vote.

"I don't think I'm going to lose," he said. "But I don't think it's a vote for Henry as much as it's a vote against King."

Still, if Jinnette is eliminated, he said he would give his support wholly to Stuart and said the write-in campaign for Allen's seat was Stuart's idea.

"That's the idea he floated and I agreed to it. If I lost, then I would consider running."

Stuart endorsed Jinnette in case of his own elimination, but reiterated he would support his cohort in a write-in campaign against Allen, even pledging to buy new signs for Jinnette if needed.

Asked about the maneuver, Stuart said it was needed.

"He's got to go," he said of King. "The system needs to be broken. It's a good old boys system."

Stuart was careful to add he excluded District 1 Councilman Michael Headen from that claim, endorsing him for his staunch position against the annexation of Phase 11, but he revealed even more theories concerning Allen and King.

"Al (King is) not a bad person but I think he's being influenced by a certain councilman in a district, which is Chuck Allen," he said.

Stuart not only stuck to his guns when questioned about his claims concerning Allen and King, but explained his Facebook reference to mayoral "clout" he could wield when dealing with the district attorney, state attorney general, the SBI and state auditors.

He said he fears there were unsolicited "kickbacks" going to Allen at the expense of taxpayers through insider tips.

"This is not an "out to get Chuck" thing," he said. "It's to save Goldsboro and plug the hole where the money's getting out. City councilmen do not need to have their fingers in the pot with the city's money."

He also expanded on his plan to use his position, if elected mayor, to get the attention of investigators, claiming he has contacts who have incriminating information, but they haven't turned it over to him because as a "nobody" citizen he wouldn't be able to do much with it.

"As mayor I could actually get a phone call to the attorney general," he said.

He added that the investigation wouldn't take away from the mayorship as he would organize a voluntary commission to perform research and fact-finding duties -- something he adds he could organize without any votes from his would-be colleagues on the City Council.

Stuart said he wasn't making any accusations, although he continued to draw connections between Allen and improper business deals.

"It's not a witch hunt," he claimed. "I'm sure not all of it's true, but I'm sure some of it is."

Several attempts were made to contact Allen this morning but he could not be reached for comment.