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A new Republican appointee to the Buncombe County Board of Elections wants to force out longtime Elections Director Trena Parker, a move Parker supporters say would undermine public confidence in the voting process.
The other new Republican appointee to the three-member board declined to be sworn in this week, saying he does not want to be involved in an effort to fire Parker. That stalled for now the move by member Robert Knapp.
Knapp said he wants Parker out of the job she has held since 1994 because of her role in last year’s disputed District 2 county commissioner election that saw Democrat Ellen Frost narrowly defeat Republican Christina Merrill.
“If (Parker) had not been in there, Christina Merrill would be our commissioner,” Knapp said.
Republicans and Democrats who support Parker say she has run the office well in a nonpartisan fashion and handled issues with the Frost-Merrill race as directed by the county and state elections boards.
“I think Trena’s done an excellent job, and I have no fault with her at all,” said Robert Van Wagner, who was the GOP representative on the board over the past seven years.