Democratic NC House candidate Bradford pays fine, a day late

07/02/2014 8:22 AM

07/02/2014 8:23 AM

Democratic Robin Bradford, running her second campaign for the N.C. House, on Tuesday continued dealing with escalating problems from her first campaign.

After she missed a Monday deadline to pay $1,750 in outstanding fines, state elections officials referred her case to the attorney general.

Bradford, who chairs the Mecklenburg County Democratic Party, said later she has paid the fines. They stem from missing campaign reporting deadlines from her 2012 race in House District 92.

“I sent the check in full today to the State Board,” Bradford said in an email Tuesday. “I was assured once the check is received there will be no outstanding penalties.”

Elections board spokesman Josh Lawson said the payment would settle the matter. “Our referral was purely for collection (not prosecution),” he said.

It was the latest chapter of a campaign that has continued to dog Bradford.

She was first fined in 2013 for failing to file finance reports of her 2012 campaign, which she lost to Republican Charles Jeter of Huntersville. Last March, she told the Observer she wasn’t aware of the fines and blamed her treasurer, Sharon Greene, for failing to file the missing documents.

In April, Greene filed four reports from 2012 and 2013. In an unusual move, she also wrote the board an eight-page letter that, while taking responsibility for being late, accused Bradford of not being truthful and failing to provide the information needed for complete finance reports.

The elections board wrote Bradford on May 31 that her case would be referred to the Justice Department if she didn’t pay the fines by June 30.

“I do find it regrettable that it takes action by the attorney general to follow the laws and regulations that every candidate is supposed to follow,” Jeter said.

Even Democrats were critical.

Rep. Tricia Cotham of Matthews said she was “disappointed” that Bradford had not responded to repeated requests to pay the fines. And Democratic Rep. Rodney Moore of Charlotte called it “a sad situation.”

“We need to be held accountable no matter who we are or what position we hold,” he said.

In April, Bradford reported raising $207 for her current campaign, all from herself. Jeter had raised $81,000.

Democrats consider the district, which runs through west Mecklenburg County, one of the most competitive in the state.

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