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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A woman who was once the top nominee to fill a vacancy on the New Hanover County Commission is now not allowed to vote or hold public office in the county.

Tuesday the New Hanover County Board of Elections ruled that Melissa Gott does not live in the county and therefore is not a registered voter.

Gott was expected to defend her residency in New Hanover County, but decided against it. Her attorney, John Ferrante, spoke to the Board of Elections, calling the challenge frivolous.

“Ms. Gott has decided to save this board a long, drawn-out hearing,” Ferrante said. “This withdrawal of objection to the challenge should not be seen or perceived of admission that the challenge is valid.”

Gott was the Republican Party’s nominee to fill a vacant county commission seat, but was rejected after her New Hanover County residency was questioned.

Wilmington business owner Justin LaNasa was set to testify Tuesday to prove Gott does not live in the county and only uses her house at 602 Chestnut Street for work. In reaction to Ferrante’s statement, the Board of Elections unanimously ruled to uphold LaNasa’s challenge, meaning Gott is not a registered voter in the county.

“I believe she did the right thing, and hopefully there’s no little lawyer tricks involved where it comes back,” LaNasa said.

However, according to Elections Director Marvin McFadyen, Gott could still register to vote in New Hanover County this week and claim she has lived at the Wilmington address for at least 30 days.

“Because you’ve been removed from the records, a person can still meet the qualifications to register and vote based on what the law reads,” McFadyen said.

Folks who live around Gott’s house on Chestnut Street also showed up to the hearing. One neighbor WWAY spoke with says this is proof that Gott did not live at the house.

Comment on this Story

  • ChefnSurf

    … one giant misstep for Rhonda Amoroso and the local GOP.

    It seems pretty apparent that Melissa Gott’s personal residence in not actually in New Hanover county. By continuing to insist it is, she’s opened herself up to all sorts of unintended consequences. For a smart person, that’s not very smart.

    It’s also pretty apparent that Rhonda Amoroso was aware of this as well. Ms. Amoroso then extended this travesty even further by inferring that this possibly was actually about discrimination against women or Hispanics. That was a truly despicable moment.

    If voters have any brains at all they’ll go out of their way to insure that both Gott and Amoroso are no longer included in any form of government leadership from this day forward. With all of the unproven liars already in politics, why include two who have already proven themselves to be so untruthful.

    If the local GOP organization has any brains at all, they’ll go out of their way to remove Amoroso from a leadership position. To do otherwise would place their entire organization under a cloud of voter mistrust which would ultimately compromise its effectiveness.

  • Guest2020

    If she is not abiding by the rules then she needs to be called on the carpet for it. If she does not meet the legal definition of what a New Hanover County resident is, then she is not eligible to serve as a County Commissioner. If she doesn’t meet the NH County Board of Elections’ requirements for voter registration, then she doesn’t need to be registered in NH County. If her children do not reside in New Hanover County then they shouldn’t be allowed to go to school there.

    It seems to me that regardless of the motives, that if the truth has come out it doesn’t matter that much who started it.

  • Hiiiiiiiiiiii!!!

    by unattractive Democratic, liberal women and their, ahem, “men,” to attack her because she’s hot. The unattractive Democrat women are being catty because most of them have to go through life looking that dude from MSNBC, I think his name is Rachel Maddow? Sometimes it is tough being the hot, popular girl.

  • Guest2020

    Don’t you know that “with Democrats, everybody wins”. That’s what a billboard on hwy 17N says.

  • SurfCityTom

    did you read the attorney’s statement as to why she was withdrawing and not following through with an appeal? It would have required the release of personal, and embarrassing information.

    I can see that.

    1. The Voters are not as stupid, and willing to roll over and play dead, as I assumed they were.

    2. I’m an attorney. No one has a right to question an attorney’s integrity. John Edwards certainly thought so.

    3. What difference does it make where I live?

    At least she did not try to lay the blame on Bush.

  • Native Wilmingtonian

    Attorneys, NEVER. . .EVER ! Swear to tell the Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing But the Truth. I once heard a famous law professor tell a class, “Never let the facts get in the way of a good argument.”

  • Vog46

    How dare you!
    Still think it’s a witch hunt?
    Still think it’s antiwomen?
    You and the GOP Chairwoman are a disgrace.

    A lawyer with a disregard for the law?

    You need to be investigated for your work on the planning board.

    You need to take your kids out of NH County schools if that’s where they are.

    IF Rick Catlin knew all of this he should resign.

    This is a very big black mark on the entire Republican party and the NH County Commissioners.


  • notjustaguess

    Right…..cause the Democrats always play by the rules….

  • Guestknow

    Just an effort by some to divert attention from the real issue- where did Gott reside! Both Rhonda and Catlin should have known the reality(what is and has been the political relationship between Gott and Catlin-now and over the past 10 years?)–or asked! Nonsense and dishonest to divert attention to others.It is clear attempt to raise a bogus question below. People are seeing through this wilmington cabal rubbish and political thuggery. GOTT REFUSED to take an oath of residency-that is the plain and simple fact–attack others if you will- but the plain fact is GOTT REFUSED to swear as to her residency. The plain and simple fact is that Rhonda tried to make this a gender and Latino issue when the sole issue was Gott’s residency. VOTE DEMOCRATIC-give a new group a chance and lets send Rhonda and Catlin a message—honesty pays political games do not!

  • Guestknow

    You can post but you cant change facts- Rhonda and Rick have played lots of political games in the opinion of many of us—this is latest. Rhonda should leave–with Frank and Hopefully we spare Raleigh from the likes of Catlin. I will vote for Anybody But Catlin–go Gale!!!

  • Ashamed of ILM

    what you’re talking about….Rhonda didn’t pick her, she was the recommendation of the Leadership Development Committee. There was another nominee, there could have been 10 more! The exec committee vote was 31-20 in favor of Ms. Gott. People who are not involved in county politics and pontificate without knowing the facts and ASSume make themselves look very stupid.

  • notjustaguess

    Let’s be VERY clear about something. Ms. Gott was not handpicked by Rhonda Amoroso, and Rick Catlin was in no way involved. Anyone that claims anything to the contrary, simply does not know what they are talking about. I have to question the credibility of Ross, because I can state with great certainty that you were not involved in the process. If you were, you would know that Ms. Gott was voted on by a five member committee prior to her reccomendation being sent to the Executive Committee. Please explain the logic behind knowingly putting up a candidate that does not reside in the county? Party leadership made great efforts to put forth a candidate that would not be controversial, and unfortunately that effort failed – for more than one reason. The only way to have known that Ms. Gott’s residency would be an issue, would have been by retaining a private investigator. Perhaps that is something that the GOP does in the future, but then inevitably someone will have an issue with that as well – becase afterall, we still don’t know with 100% certainty that Brian Berger lives where he says he does.

  • straight shooter

    No doubt she will try to blame LaNasa and others—fact is Gott was wrong here. She can establish residency in NHC easily enough- but clearly she played games for many years-thats why SHE did not take oath. This isnt Justins fault or McCoys fault-its Gott’s fault. Blame her and stop attacking others with bogus nonsense. People see through their nonsense-like others have said- Rhonda should go if she cant lead with class and Catlin -well he is a work of art we should put in a museum and not in Raleigh.

  • ross

    yes it is true, rhonda the gop chair and catlin hand picked her! they knew she did not live here. it was clear from the packet put together from rhonda, the lack of timely info created even more questions. board of election asked for info and instead of providing it, she backs away from giving up info that would prove the case against her. rhonda needs to resign or be removed

  • Guest234

    What planet are you living on??? Catlin has been the most consistent Conservative vote on the Commission these past two years. Even Berger’s votes match up with Catlin’s.

  • Guestnem

    Whether its two timing us on taxes or the environment-Little Ricky has proven again and again that he represents the worst in Wilmington.
    He has two stands on almost any issue. He often says one thing in public–and quite another behind the scences. His arrogance is well known and he plays ruthless and sneaky. We have a choice a refeshing Tom Gale or a caster like clone- little ricky catlin. Defeat Catlin and send a message that we dont like his brand of politics!

  • Nott Gott, heh….

    GOP Candidate Melissa Gott – “It really caught me off guard that this would be something that I would be challenged on,” Gott says.

    GOP Chairwoman Rhonda Amoroso – “I think what has happened is a witch-hunt and I think there’s a double standard and it looks like a war on women to me,” Amoroso says. “As a woman, I am quite offended by it.”

    Lying Republicans. Gotcha!


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