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Independent Etchison expects to be on 9th Congressional District ballot

Zach Traylor suspends independent campaign for state House


One of two independent candidates actively petitioning to get on the November general election ballot in Fayetteville and Cumberland County says she succeeded, while the other says he came up short.

Shelane Etchison of Moore County, an Army veteran who doesn’t belong to a political party, said in a news release on Tuesday that she has collected enough signatures from voters living in the 9th Congressional District to run in November.

Etchison needs signatures from 7,460 registered voters to get on the ballot. She said on Tuesday evening she has collected 12,000 signatures and she expects most of them to be validated.

Unaffiliated voter Zach Traylor of Fayetteville was attempting to get on the ballot in the race for N.C. House Dist. 44. He needed 2,170 signatures from registered voters in Dist. 44. He said on Tuesday he did not get enough.

The signatures had to be turned in to the Board of Elections by noon on Tuesday.

N.C. law requires nonpartisan candidates like Traylor and Etchison to collect thousands of signatures from registered voters to get their names on the ballots in partisan races.

Candidates from government-approved political parties don’t have to collect signatures to run for office. Instead, partisan candidates only need to complete filing paperwork and sign their own names.

North Carolina has five government-approved political parties — the Republicans, the Democrats, the Libertarians, the Green Party and the No Labels party.

Shelane Etchison looks to November for Congress

If Etchison’s signatures hold, she will face Republican incumbent Richard Hudson and Democratic candidate Nigel Bristow.

“We turned in over 12,000 signatures while only needing less than 7,500 to qualify,” Etchison said in a statement. “We’re confident we’ll be on the ballot in the 9th Congressional District in November to challenge Richard Hudson.

“Gathering all these signatures was an inspiring process and left no doubt that people are hungry for an alternative to the two parties,” she said.

Zach Traylor concedes in state House

Traylor went door-to-door in Fayetteville to collect signatures from voters so that he could pursue the House Dist. 44 seat. He wanted to challenge incumbent Democrat Charles Smith, Republican Freddie de la Cruz, and Libertarian Christina Aragues.

“After careful consideration and assessment of our campaign’s progress, we regret to announce the suspension of our campaign efforts for the upcoming 2024 General Election,” he said in a statement on Tuesday. “Despite our dedicated efforts, we were unable to secure the required number of signatures to appear on the ballot, coming up a few hundred signatures shy of our 2,170 goal.

Traylor expressed disappointment with the results but said he remained optimistic about “the future of our community and the opportunities that lie ahead.”

“As we move forward, I urge Freddie de la Cruz, Christina Agarues, and Charles Smith to look beyond party affiliation, to prioritize the needs of our community above political differences. Our community deserves leaders who are committed to serving the greater good and advancing policies that benefit all residents,” Traylor said.

Senior reporter Paul Woolverton can be reached at 910-261-4710 and pwoolverton@cityviewnc.com.

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election 2024, ncga, congress, house, traylor, Etchison