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Antics at top of the ticket pose dilemma for local GOP

hero_trump_pence_flagOct. 7. UPDATE 5:30 pm. Some local Republican candidates are criticizing Donald Trump over lewd comments the GOP presidential nominee made about women, but one says he will stick with him because of the implications for the US Supreme Court.

“It’s very disappointing that North Carolinians don’t have a better choice for President,” said NC Rep. John Bradford, who is running for re-election in House District 98.

Bradford called Trump’s comments “unacceptable and wrong,” and Trump has released a video statement apologizing and pledging to be a “better man.” Jane Campbell, a Davidson resident, is running against Bradford as an Independent, with backing from the Democratic party.

Bradford and Campbell will be in the spotlight Tuesday at the Cornelius Today and Business Today Old Fashioned BBQ & Candidate Forum at Cornelius Town Hall, 11:30 am to 1 pm.

Jim Puckett, the incumbent Republican candidate for Mecklenburg County Commission District 1, stuck by the man at the top of the GOP ticket, more or less. He said the GOP couldn’t find anyone with both the communication skill set and “thick enough skin to say enough is enough and that left the field open for Trump.”

“Donald Trump is the consequence of years of GOP refusal to speak honestly about the liberalism of America due to their fear of being negatively labeled and their inability to cast off the falsehood of those labels. Talk about the silent invasion of illegal immigrants and you’re a racist, talk about the breakdown of the family due to governmental overstep of the welfare process you’re a racist and an elitist,” Puckett said.

Puckett said the new president’s power to appoint Supreme Court justices means he will vote for Trump.

“A close friend of mine is a conservative and a federal judge and told me Trump’s list of Supreme Court nominees is the strongest he has seen in decades. At the end of the day I will trust that Congress will offset any huge potential blunders Trump may attempt, but it is the next president that will mold the Supreme Court for a generation and a mistake there can’t be undone, the constitution doesn’t allow it to be undone. For me this is not an election for president but for the future of the Supreme Court and that makes this choice easy for me,” Puckett said.

Political consultants in the Charlotte region say the election will be tighter than expected for North Meck Republican incumbents in the legislature. Trump will make an appearance at the PNC Music Pavilion in Charlotte at 7 pm Oct. 14—who attends will be interesting. “My guess is everyone waits to see what happens tomorrow night,” said one GOP consultant in North Carolina.

The second round of presidential debates is Sunday night, starting at 9 pm.

Bradford said Trump’s “actions moving ahead will speak louder than his words. Bill and Hillary Clinton have their collective fair share of past egregious scandals, too.”