Jimmy Tate resigns as Pender County Commissioner amid residency allegations

PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY)– At last week’s Pender County Commissioners meeting, Resident Beth Butler suggested former Commissioner Jimmy Tate was not a resident of Pender County, and requested an investigation.   

“All I asked for at the meeting when I spoke up, is transparency for the public. Citizens deserve to know. All I was asking is for an investigation to his residency because no one had seen or heard from him. Places and businesses he was frequent in during the election, ghost,” said Butler.

By law, anyone who runs for county office must be a resident of that county. Butler is alleging that Tate resides in Duplin County.   

Jimmy Tate spoke with us, and says he has a home in Surf City, where he permanently resides, and he has official documentation to prove it.

“Yes, I purchased a home many years ago in River Landing. The flood came in 2018 and I left, and I have not returned since I left. She’s willing to lie, and other people are willing to lie. Because I have legal counsel, I can only speak to that so much, but we have documented facts, and witnesses that live next door to my place in Surf City that can tell you that I live there every day,” said Tate.  

It is also alleged Tate has a lawsuit filed against him for buying a home in Pender County in order to run as commissioner. We have confirmed that the Pender County Courthouse does not have any official lawsuits filed against Tate, or any Pender County commissioners at this time.    

“Accusing me of being in a lawsuit. I am not named in a specific lawsuit. It’s quite common that counties are sued, but not me specifically. Ms. Butler is willing, in my opinion, to say anything to discredit me to give her candidate the opportunity to replace me,” said Tate.  

Tate stated in an email resigning from his position as commissioner at 5:39 PM on Friday, January 27th that reads, “I resign my elected position as County Commissioner of Pender County effective immediately. I extend my sincere gratitude to my family, friends, constituents and supporters!  I love Pender County, and most of its people have been kind and generous to me for many years.  I look forward to being an active member of my community in Surf City for many years to come.  The mission of the County Commissioners is critical to our county’s future, and I believe the work of the Commission deserves the full attention of any board member.  In addition, the extreme hate by members of my primary opponent’s team, including others which remain nameless at this time has caused me to divert my attention away from County business.  If I want what’s best for my County, I should resign, so someone else can give it undivided attention.  I am no longer able to participate at the appropriate level given the conditions of hate.” 

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