Leverne Kinney pulls out of commissioners' election

Mar. 13, 2014 @ 05:02 AM

A Democratic candidate for the Lee County Board of Commissioners has withdrawn from the 2014 race.

Leverne Kinney, a civilian employee in the department of public works at Fort Bragg, said he will no longer seek the Democratic nomination for the Lee Commission District 4 seat — clearing the party's nomination for former Lee County Commissioner Larry “Doc” Oldham — during the Democratic Women of Lee County's Meet the Candidates event Tuesday night.

“I wanted to withdraw so Doc Oldham can run without opposition in the Democratic Party,” Kinney said Wednesday. “However, I am still very interested in serving my community.”

Kinney said he sat down with Oldham and talked about the county's issues. They had similar approaches on how to address some of those problems, he said.

“It was a long, thought-out process,” Kinney said. “I thought about it, and the decision was made after we sat down and had a one-on-one, personal conversation.”

Kinney’s name will, however, still appear on the ballots, as they are currently being printed, said Lee County Elections Director Nancy Kimble. Oldham also said he'll still be campaigning in the coming months and introduce himself to many Democratic voters. Oldham, a former Republican who was defeated during the 2012 Republican primary, said he'll be working hard to get Democratic voters out at the polls in May and during the general election.

The District 4 seat is now held by Lee County Commissioner Jim Womack, who announced he was not seeking re-election two weeks ago. Kevin Dodson, who owns Carolina Fire Arms Training Inc. and K&L Gun Sales, is the Republican candidate for District 4.

The 2014 primary is scheduled for May 6, and the general election will be held Nov. 4.