Onslow County precinct chair resigns to vote for Democrat in special election

Published: Aug. 16, 2019 at 9:55 PM EDT
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We are less than a month from the September 10th 3rd Congressional District special election to find out who will represent Eastern Carolina in the seat formerly held by the late Water Jones Jr. But one voter says she plans to switch parties when she casts her vote.

Anne Hardinger has given up her seat as a precinct chair for the Onslow County Republican Party to support the Democrat in that race.

Hardinger is one of a handful of people calling themselves Republicans for Allen Thomas. She says although other members of her party may not be as vocal about their voting choices, she felt it was important to be transparent about hers.

Anne Harbinger’s t-shirt proclaims she's a Republican supporting a Democratic candidate.

Hardinger said, "You don't necessarily have to vote because someone's got an R or a D by their name."

Hardinger considers herself a moderate Republican. But she recently resigned to support Democrat Allen Thomas for the 3rd Congressional District seat over Republican Greg Murphy.

"You need to vote for the person who's gonna best serve your community," said Hardinger.

The county GOP stipulates that precinct chairs and those in other board positions pledge loyalty to any nominated GOP candidate.

Onslow County Republican Party members declined to go on camera, but Board Chair Lee Barrows says Hardinger is one of a few Republicans supporting Thomas and that many of them are former Democrats.

Hardinger admits she's voted for Democratic candidates in the past. She said, "I hold more of the conservative Republican values but there are a few things that I would agree with the other side on or compromise on."

Anne Hardinger is still a member of the county's Republican Party even though she resigned from her board position.

Barrow says although it is uncommon for the party to see members resign from positions to support a candidate of the other party, its business as usual for their organization.

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