By Jesse Wood
Watauga County Board of Elections Chair Luke Eggers has resigned.
According to his resignation letter submitted to Josh Howard, chair of the N.C. State Board of Elections, on Sunday, Eggers last day as a board member is Tuesday. He is resigning because his aunt, Rebecca Eggers-Gryder, is running for a seat as judge in the 24th judicial district.
Last May, Gov. Pat McCrory appointed Eggers-Gryder to fill the vacancy caused by Chief District Court Judge Gregory Horne’s departure to the Superior Court bench in December 2014. Candidate filing for the 2016 elections begins on Tuesday, Dec. 1.
“It is her intent to file for election to this seat and continue her work on behalf of the citizens of Watauga, Avery, Mitchell, Yancey and Madison counties. As you know, [state law] provides that the candidacy of a near relative results in the resignation of a member of a County Board of Elections as a matter of law,” Eggers wrote. “… While I appreciated the opportunity to serve the citizens of my county as the chairman of their board of elections, I know Rebecca will continue to do an excellent job as our District Court Judge.”
Eggers served on the board since the summer of 2013. His first meeting as a local board of elections member featured boos and chants from citizens concerned about voting measures the GOP-majority board adopted.
In his resignation letter, Eggers spoke proudly of his time as a board member.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the citizens of Watauga County as chairman of the county board of elections for the past three years. I am proud of the work we have accomplished in providing fair and equal election opportunities to all of the citizens of Watauga County, while increasing the confidence the citizens have in the integrity of our system,” Eggers wrote. “I am equally proud that we have increased voter turnout and participation in the electoral process.”
Watauga County Board of Elections Director Matt Snyder said that Anne Marie Yates, chair of the Watauga County GOP, will submit a couple of names for the State Board of Elections to consider as Eggers successor.
Snyder said he doesn’t know when the new board member will be appointed.