Appointment is not democracy

On July 26, 2011 the following was printed in the Mountain Xpress article “Field of Schemes?” about the proposed new Statehouse districts: “‘Less than a quarter of Buncombe County's population is Republican,’ noted Register of Deeds Drew Reisinger, who was Democratic Rep. Patsy Keever's campaign manager. ‘Yet they've drawn the districts so there will likely be two Republicans and one Democrat in the state Legislature. That's not what representative democracy looks like. … The playing field has become clearly unfair.’”

Here’s a clearly unfair fact for Reisinger: The last time the voters of this county elected a new register of deeds was in 1918. Democrat George Digges retired before the end of his term 45 years later and his son, “Winky” Digges, was appointed by the Democratic county officials. Winky died in office after 15 years and the Democratic county officials appointed Otto DeBruhl. After 33 years, Otto retired during his term in 2011 and the Democratic county officials appointed Reisinger, a Florida native with a degree in anthropology.

One party holding onto an office for almost a century by appointing replacements isn’t what representative democracy looks like either.

In November, elect a new register of deeds; one with a degree in real estate and the qualifications to hold that office – Buncombe County native Pat Cothran.

— Edith Michael

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