Senate Candidate Denies She's Running To Split Black Vote

One Democratic candidate for state senate says claims that she was put in the heated race to split the black vote are false.

Florence Armstrong, a former Edgecombe County commissioner, says the Frankie Bordeaux campaign claims that incumbent State Senator Clark Jenkins got Armstrong to run in the primary. Both Armstrong and Bordeaux are black, while Jenkins is white.

"At this point, I am fed up", Armstrong said, "I have more experience, I have been a very active member of the community. I have been pleading with both candidates to make this election about the people and the issues facing district three and not personal attacks."

The third senate district is made up of Edgecombe, Martin counties and a large portion of Pitt County.

In a statement to WITN News, Jenkins said he did not get Armstrong to join the race to split the vote.

Bordeaux's campaign issued a statement as well. In it Bordeaux says he is the only minority candidate who can beat Jenkins, but he did not specifically address the allegations made by Armstrong.

The race already took a twist when officials revealed that a company owned by Bordeaux and his wife agreed to repay $4.2 million for overbilling Medicaid for mental health services. The Attorney General's Office confirms that its Medicaid Fraud Investigative Unit is investigating Cambridge Behavior Health Services.

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