Senator slams governor over open Congressional seat

by: Stephanie Coueignoux Updated:

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A local Democratic senator is slamming Gov. Pat McCrory for leaving the District 12 Congressional seat vacant.

Sen. Malcolm Graham said a large population is now without a voice for nearly a year.

"Having no representation in that seat for well over, maybe a year or so, really disenfranchises their ability to have a voice in Washington, D.C.," Graham said.

Channel 9 took a closer look at who lives in District 12. We found more than 50 percent of residents are minorities and most voters are registered Democrats.

"The facts are what they are," Graham said. "The 12th Congressional District is the majority-minority district, so obviously the issues of what we care about are different from the administration in Raleigh."

Graham is running for the vacant seat in District 12.

McCrory decided to wait until November to put this seat on the ballot.

Channel 9 called the governor's office and it released a statement, which reads:

"In the end, holding the special election on the same days as the general election was the simplest, least costly and least confusing option."

Graham also took to Twitter to disagree with the governor. In fact, we found two tweets expressing his opinion.

The tweet read, "The governor and I simply disagree that this is the 'simplest, least costly and least confusing option.' Do you buy that? I don't."

The Governor's Office told Channel 9 a special election would cost taxpayers about $1 million.

Graham said that money belongs to the taxpayers.

"The people pay taxes," Graham said. "They pay into state government. They deserve a vote and voice sooner rather than later."

The Governor's Office told Channel 9 several of Graham's opponents, including Democrats, have sided with McCrory.

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