While the name of the late N.C. Sen. Don East will still appear on the ballot this election day, local Republican leaders have not yet decided who will be East’s replacement if he were to win the election.
According to Virginia Smith, chair of the Stokes County Republican Party, a meeting will be held Sunday, Nov. 4 at 3 p.m. at the Surry County Republican Headquarters to nominate a replacement for East. This confirmation came on Tuesday from state GOP Political Director Kim Canady, Smith said.
During this meeting, members of the executive boards from the Stokes, Surry and Wilkes county Republican parties will nominate candidates from the floor and vote on East’s replacement, according to Smith. Representatives from the state GOP group will conduct the meeting.
East, 67, died Oct. 22 at a Winston-Salem hospital from a post-surgical blood clot. He was running for his eighth term in the N.C. Senate. His opponent is Ric Marshall, a Democrat from Surry County.
The replacement selection process has created a stir in Surry County, where the chair of the Republican party there — Dan Kiger — reported on Monday that a meeting would be held Saturday to nominate a replacement. But at that time, other members of the executive committee said they were not aware that a meeting had been set yet.
As Stokes Board of Elections Director Jason Perry explained last week, selecting someone to fill East’s position would be up to the Republican Executive Committee of the 30th District. That nomination would be submitted to the state party, and this would then be forwarded as a recommendation to Gov. Beverly Perdue who would have seven days to make a final appointment.
While rumors abound about who is being considered for the nomination, Smith said no one has been selected yet and that all of this will come out at the executive meeting when nominations are taken from the floor.