A judge’s injunction last week may have stopped state Sen. Trudy Wade’s plan to overthrow Greensboro City Council, but it was more of a stun than a killing blow.
The city’s lawsuit against the county board of elections has yet to be heard and adjudicated — though things look pretty good for the city as no one showed up to defend the case in federal court last week.
But the bill could be resubmitted without the poison pill, a last-minute addition that completely removed Greensboro’s authority to control its own elections and government that no one — no one — is claiming.
Wade says she didn’t know about that clause. Rep. John Blust said that the House would never have had the opportunity to amend the bill they voted on. Either someone added it with an eye on killing the bill, or she committed an unconstitutional overreach of governmental authority.
Either way, that’s the piece that makes Greensboro’s case, and it could be pulled from the text of the bill as easily as it was put in there.
We’re anxiously awaiting some new names and faces to enter the fray.
Then there’s the matter of the original bill to contend with. SB 36 could always be kicked down the road for the next session. And remember that its architects can keep writing as many laws as they want as long as they hold elected office.
But at this point the more sensible people in the General Assembly are starting to ask themselves: What is up with this woman and her beef against Greensboro?
And the people in Wade’s corner are already trying to figure out how much it will cost to get her re-elected, and if she will be able to count on her usual campaign contributors to get it done.
Her renewal date comes up next year.
Meanwhile in Greensboro, a majority of incumbents have already filed for the race. As of press time, Tony Wilkins, Mike Barber and Justin Outling are the only ones who haven’t re-upped their bids. Incidentally, they’re among the most vulnerable: Wilkins for supporting Wade’s gambit, Outling because he has yet to win an election — and if he does, he will be the first African-American voted into to a district seat that was not drawn specifically for black representation. As for Barber… we haven’t seen that guy in weeks.
We’re anxiously awaiting some new names and faces to enter the fray. Homeless advocate Thessa Pickett, who is taking a shot at Jamal Fox in District 2, counts as one.
Because while Wade’s gambit may have been inartfully conceived, ham-fistedly executed and employed for all the wrong reasons, it absolutely would have reshuffled the deck.
So far, all we can look forward to is a rematch between Sharon Hightower and Dianne Bellamy-Small in District 1, which Hightower win in 2013 by a mere dozen votes.
For serious election junkies, that won’t be enough.