N Carolina elections director, top lawyer exiting roles

May 31, 2019 GMT
FILE - In this Feb. 19, 2019, file photo, Kim Westbrook Strach, left, executive director of the Bipartisan State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement, questions a witness during the second day of a public evidentiary hearing on the 9th congressional district voting irregularities investigation at the North Carolina State Bar in Raleigh, N.C.  North Carolina's Democratic-led elections board will have a new chief administrator. On a party-line 3-2 vote Monday, May 13, the State Board of Elections chose Karen Brinson Bell as the next executive director. The action means Strach will be out of the job she's held since 2013. (Travis Long/The News & Observer via AP, Pool, File)
FILE - In this Feb. 19, 2019, file photo, Kim Westbrook Strach, left, executive director of the Bipartisan State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement, questions a witness during the second day of a public evidentiary hearing on the 9th congressional district voting irregularities investigation at the North Carolina State Bar in Raleigh, N.C.  North Carolina's Democratic-led elections board will have a new chief administrator. On a party-line 3-2 vote Monday, May 13, the State Board of Elections chose Karen Brinson Bell as the next executive director. The action means Strach will be out of the job she's held since 2013. (Travis Long/The News & Observer via AP, Pool, File)
FILE - In this Feb. 19, 2019, file photo, Kim Westbrook Strach, left, executive director of the Bipartisan State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement, questions a witness during the second day of a public evidentiary hearing on the 9th congressional district voting irregularities investigation at the North Carolina State Bar in Raleigh, N.C.  North Carolina's Democratic-led elections board will have a new chief administrator. On a party-line 3-2 vote Monday, May 13, the State Board of Elections chose Karen Brinson Bell as the next executive director. The action means Strach will be out of the job she's held since 2013. (Travis Long/The News & Observer via AP, Pool, File)
FILE - In this Feb. 19, 2019, file photo, Kim Westbrook Strach, left, executive director of the Bipartisan State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement, questions a witness during the second day of a public evidentiary hearing on the 9th congressional district voting irregularities investigation at the North Carolina State Bar in Raleigh, N.C. North Carolina's Democratic-led elections board will have a new chief administrator. On a party-line 3-2 vote Monday, May 13, the State Board of Elections chose Karen Brinson Bell as the next executive director. The action means Strach will be out of the job she's held since 2013. (Travis Long/The News & Observer via AP, Pool, File)
FILE - In this Feb. 19, 2019, file photo, Kim Westbrook Strach, left, executive director of the Bipartisan State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement, questions a witness during the second day of a public evidentiary hearing on the 9th congressional district voting irregularities investigation at the North Carolina State Bar in Raleigh, N.C. North Carolina's Democratic-led elections board will have a new chief administrator. On a party-line 3-2 vote Monday, May 13, the State Board of Elections chose Karen Brinson Bell as the next executive director. The action means Strach will be out of the job she's held since 2013. (Travis Long/The News & Observer via AP, Pool, File)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The professionals in charge of protecting North Carolina’s elections for more than five years are being replaced.

State elections director Kim Strach and top elections attorney Josh Lawson leave their jobs Friday.

Strach was ousted earlier this month from the job she’s held since 2013. Strach was promoted to the job under Republican former Gov. Pat McCrory, but the elections board is now back in Democratic hands following lengthy litigation.

Lawson decided to quit when Strach was dumped. He’s being succeeded by his deputy, Katelyn Love.

Strach and Lawson worked to increase election security and investigated wrongdoing by former Republican state Sen. Fletcher Hartsell and 9th Congressional District GOP candidate Mark Harris.

ADVERTISEMENT

Strach previously oversaw campaign finance investigations of Democratic House Speaker Jim Black and former Democratic Gov. Mike Easley.