North Topsail Beach Mayor to protest election result

ONSLOW COUNTY, NC (WITN) - An alderman who won a mayoral race with write in votes was supposed to be sworn in Thursday, but that has been delayed due to the current mayor's protest.

North Topsail Beach Mayor Dan Tuman has until one week from Thursday to go to court with his concerns, after losing last month's election to a write-in candidate.

Joann McDermon is the town alderman who ran for that position, but won the mayoral race with write in votes.

Tuman's lawyer said McDermon violated state law by running for two positions. Board of Elections directors say a person can file for one position, while running a write-in campaign for another, which is what McDermon did.

Tuman appealed to the state, which dismissed his appeal.

Court records indicate Tuman has not yet filed a case protesting the appeal. This is the last level he can go to in this process.

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A mayor that lost to a write-in candidate in last month's election has had his appeal to overturn the election results tossed out by the state.

North Topsail Beach Mayor Dan Tuman was running unopposed for another term but lost to Alderman Joann McDermon who waged a write-in campaign.

McDermon was on the ballot for the adlerman seat, and a lawyer for Tuman says she was in violation of state law that says a candidate can't be on the ballot for two different races.

The Onslow County Elections Board disagreed and tossed out Tuman's challenge which he then appealed to the State Board of Elections.

In an e-mail to WITN, the state says that Tuman's appeal was administratively dismissed by the executive director.


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The mayor of an Eastern Carolina beach town wants state election officials to declare him the winner, even though he lost on November 5th.

North Topsail Beach Mayor Dan Tuman officially filed an appeal with the State Board of Elections last week.

Tuman was running unopposed for another term but lost to Alderman Joann McDermon who waged a write-in campaign.

McDermon was on the ballot for the adlerman seat, and a lawyer for Tuman says she was in violation of state law that says a candidate can't be on the ballot for two different races.

The Onslow County Elections Board tossed out Tuman's challenge saying no laws were broken.

The question appears to be how one interrupts the law about one running for multiple races. It says a name can't be "on the general election ballot for two separate offices," but it doesn't say specifically whether one of those can't be a write-in.

The lawyer for Tuman says once a voter wrote in the name of McDermon she was on the ballot.

No date has been set for a hearing in Raleigh on the appeal. In the meantime, it looks like Tuman will remain as mayor.


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An alderman who waged a successful write-in campaign for North Topsail Beach mayor picked up more votes after this morning's canvass.

Joann McDermon now has 126 votes, compared to Mayor Dan Tuman's 80 votes. After counting absentee and provisional ballots, McDermon picked up 13 votes from November 5th results.

Tuman on Thursday challenged the write-in campaign because McDermon was also on the ballot for alderman.

But the Onslow County Elections Board dismissed the challenge saying no election laws were broken.

McDermon hasn't been declared the winner because Tuman could still appeal yesterday's ruling to the state elections board and then to Superior Court.

The mayor doesn't take office until December 5th, and local election officials hope that any appeals can be heard before then.


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The current mayor of one Eastern Carolina town is protesting after losing the mayoral race in the recent municipal election to a write-in candidate.

The Onslow County Board of Elections met Thursday and determined no election laws were violated.

Mayor Dan Tuman says current Alderman and Mayor-Elect Joann McDermon should not take the seat as mayor because she filed for alderman and also conducted a write-in campaign for mayor which he believes violates the law.

At Thursday's Onslow County Board of Elections meeting, several members of the board determined there were no statutes of the law for municipal elections violated.

McDermon explained that when she registered for the election it was only to run again for alderman until she realized she wanted to make a difference at a higher level.

McDermon says this protest is not fair to the voters.​ "It's them that are suffering because they voted, they voted for a candidate that had more votes than the current candidate and he's contesting," said McDermon.

Mayor Tuman is appealing the board's decision to the state board of elections saying he still believes election laws were violated.

McDermon says candidates are supposed to be sworn into their positions on December 5th and contesting the race could postpone or prevent that from happening for the mayor-elect.