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'Smear campaign' started against Gott to keep her out of Davis's seat

READ MORE: 'Smear campaign' started against Gott to keep her out of Davis's seat

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- New Hanover County Commissioners decided to send nominee Melissa Gott back to the county GOP for more vetting after someone complained that she's not a full time resident of the county. Gott was nominated to take over for Commissioner Ted Davis after he was named to the state senate.

Some are saying this is a last minute smear campaign by some in the Republican Party to keep Gott out of the seat. The New Hanover County GOP nominated Gott to replace Davis Wednesday night.

She and her husband own several houses around the Cape Fear area, but Gott says her primary residence is in New Hanover County. The issues stem from her being registered to vote in New Hanover County and her husband being registered in Brunswick County. She told us that he didn't get around the changing his registration after they were married. But in telling the commissioners that her husband lives with her in New Hanover County, she alluded to the fact that he's been voting in Brunswick County for years, which could be considered voter fraud. That fact, some commissioners say, have them concerned.

"I understand that her husband has voted for the last several years in Brunswick County," Commissioner Jonathan Barfield says. "I'm just trying to rationalize how can two people living in the same household vote in different counties. She's a friend of mine but at the same time, I've got to make sure I'm making a good decision for the citizens of this county."

"It really caught me off guard that this would be something that I would be challenged on," Gott says.

Commissioners approved a resolution that requests the GOP to meet with the New Hanover County Board of Elections Director to confirm that Gott is indeed a full-time resident of the county. They'll present their findings at the next commissioner meeting. But as of Friday night, it appeared that Gott didn't have a majority of commissioners willing to approve her nomination.

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