More tension at the Jefferson County Election Commission, where the Democrat-Gazette reports that commissioner Ted Davis has resigned, citing “corruption, racism, hostility, and blatantly self-serving agendas.”
Davis, a Democrat, has been in a long-running feud with fellow commissioner Stu Soffer, a Republican. Davis, who is black, filed a criminal complaint against Soffer, who is white, in October. Davis alleged that Soffer became irate, shouted at Davis, and threatened him, saying they should “go outside” to settle their dispute. After the meeting finished, according to Davis, Soffer followed him out of the building and continued to make threats.
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Commenting as “Razorblade” on this blog, Soffer responded to an item about that kerfuffle: “You reach a point with a bully it is time to take a stand. This has been a multi-year feud with Davis making false accusations about my wife fixing elections, about me, telling anyone in the Black community who would listen I am fixing elections . … Commissioner Theodis “Ted” Davis is not a man of honor and a liar. … Even at my advanced age one reaches the point where enough is enough. I did not threaten Commissioner Davis. There are two first-hand witnesses to the events Davis is complaining about and I will let the chips fall where they may. I categorically deny violating the law or threatening Commissioner Davis.”
A special prosecutor, Jason Barrett, was been named to investigate the allegations after Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney Kyle Hunter recused himself because he represents the election commission as an entity. There has been no announcement about whether or not Barrett will prosecute anyone in the matter.
Davis told the D-G that the work environment at the election commission is “toxic, dangerously threatening, and intimidating” and offered a litany of complaints.
“I categorically deny that anything we do here is predicated on race and anyone who says different is a liar,” Soffer told the D-G.
This is not the first dispute between Soffer and Davis. Soffer pulled a derringer on Davis at an election commission meeting in 2016. Soffer said that he did so in self defense because he felt threatened by Davis. Here’s video of that previous incident.