Barfield dismisses Melissa Gott as commissioner candidate despite GOP backing

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The controversy continues with New Hanover County Commissioners in their search to fill former Chairman Ted Davis’s seat.

Last week commissioners ran into a roadblock in deciding whether to pick up Melissa Gott to act as their temporary fifth board member. But now, one commissioner says Gott has got to go.

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“With me having questions in my mind as an elected official, I’m not going to put someone on our board that I have questions with,” says board chairman Jonathan Barfield.

The county’s Republican party nominated Gott, but after a complaint surfaced questioning whether Gott lives in New Hanover or Brunswick County, commissioners decided to wait.

GOP Chairwoman Rhonda Amoroso says it was all part of a smear campaign against Gott.



“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.”

Commissioners unanimously decided to hand over the issue to the GOP and county board of elections. Tuesday, the party turned over a packet containing affidavits and documents proving Gott does live at her address in New Hanover County. However, Barfield says that’s not enough to sway his opinion.

“There was no need for me to look through it,” Barfield says. “I mean I’ve gotten more emails from citizens who live in that area saying listen we haven’t seen any kids in this home. At night, the lights are out, the whole nine yards. “

Amoroso says she hopes Barfield reconsiders and takes the time to read the packet.

“That’s disturbing to me and very disappointing,” she says. “We spent hours putting that packet together.”

Commissioner Rick Catlin says he plans to thoroughly look over the GOP’s packet on Gott before making any decision. WWAY also reached out to both commissioners Jason Thompson and Brian Berger in reaction to the packet and Barfield’s stance. Neither has returned our calls.