01/21/04 — Rhodes appeals unfairness

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Rhodes appeals unfairness

By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on January 21, 2004 2:03 PM

Goldsboro Councilman J.B. Rhodes said Tuesday, before what may have been his last council meeting, that he has filed an appeal to try to keep his political seat.

Rhodes received the written order from the state Friday that declared Jimmy Bryan the winner of the November election by one vote.

Rhodes has 10 days to appeal the decision. He said his lawyer was supposed to have filed the appeal Tuesday in Wake County Superior Court. Rhodes will ask the judge to stay the order so he can keep his seat until the court process is complete. He is seeking another election.

"Whatever they do is all right with me," Rhodes said of the courts. "I'm not going to worry about it."

Although he has appealed, Rhodes also acted as though Tuesday's meeting could be his last.

Rhodes said he had enjoyed working with City Manager Richard Slozak and City Attorney Harrell Everett during his 16-year tenure as a councilman. He mentioned nothing during the meeting about his appeal, but instead spoke of what he is most proud of during his service on the council.

"And if I don't come back, I want the work I've done to speak for me," Rhodes said, referring to sewer, water and paving improvements in the north side of town, which he said were the results of his efforts.

"I haven't been on the board for J.B. Rhodes, but have tried to be a voice for everyone," Rhodes said.

Rhodes was initially declared the winner of the November election, before it was discovered that many ballots had been mistakenly double-counted.

The county Elections Board agreed to a recount, and Rhodes lost to Jimmy Bryan by one vote.

District 6 candidate Danny Roseborough was also originally counted as the winner, but after the recount, he lost by four votes to Jackie Warrick.

Both Roseborough and Rhodes appealed the recount decisions to the State Board of Elections.

The State Board of Elections declared Bryan the winner on Dec. 19, but ordered a new election for Roseborough and Warrick.

Rhodes said he filed the appeal to show what he considered to be unfair treatment by the State Board of Elections.

"I was only one vote" behind "and they denied me another election," he said. "The other man was four votes behind, but they gave him an election."

The state board said it issued the new election for Roseborough, because more voting irregularities were found; whereas, no other problems were found with Rhodes' race.