Who Really Won?

Friday, August 26, 2005

Sore Loser Loses Again

North Carolina lawmakers selected a new superintendent of public schools on Tuesday, resolving the nation's last undecided statewide election from November 2004.

The Democratic candidate, June Atkinson, was picked to run the state's 1.4-million-student school system by a 93-to-21 vote in a joint session of the Senate and House.

It was the first time since 1835 that North Carolina lawmakers determined the winner of a statewide office.

The outcome was expected: a 10-member legislative panel recommended Ms. Atkinson, and Democrats hold a 14-seat advantage in the General Assembly.

In the Nov. 2 election, Ms. Atkinson beat her Republican opponent, Bill Fletcher, by 8,535 votes out of more than 3.3 million cast. But Mr. Fletcher went to court, arguing that at least 11,000 ballots cast outside of voters' home precincts were unlawful.