Original post May 13: Last week, Democratic challenger Todd Williams handily vanquished his primary opponent, incumbent Buncombe County District Attorney Ron Moore. There’s no Republican challenger on the ballot for the November general election. But despite the easy victory (that comes with the caveat that Williams won in a low turnout election limited to registered Democrats and any unaffiliated voter who chose to vote in the Democratic primary), it’s clear that newcomer Williams has a target on his back.
Asheville attorney Ben Scales confirmed to me the news that he has already launched a petition campaign to get his name on the November ballot as an independent challenger to Williams. Scales is a well-known local defense attorney who must collect more than 7,000 signatures of registered local voters over the next month to get listed on the ballot as an independent candidate.
Now there’s word on the street that Rebecca Knight, a former Buncombe County district court judge, is mulling over a write-in campaign against Williams in November. Knight, who is working now as an attorney, is as well known in local legal circles.
Knight retired from the bench in 2012 after serving 30 years as a district court judge. She was Buncombe County’s first female district court judge. She’s married to another Buncombe judge, Marvin Pope.
Write-in campaigns are difficult – they require voters to take an extra step at the voting booth – literally writing in a candidate’s name on a ballot. Still, a coordinated Knight candidacy could challenge a relative unknown Williams in this mid-term election. We’ll keep an eye on this.