Durham district attorney race: Nifong emerges as non-majority victor

All I was doing yesterday was answering our webhost-wide “Ask A ScienceBlogger” query about the most notable local election races in our respective communities. I was taken aback by getting more traffic on my displeasure with Durham DA, Mike Nifong, than on any other topic since I last asked whether the San Antonio Hooters restaurant could tactfully support the activities of basic and clinical researchers at the internationally-renowned San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.
What I neglected to note yesterday was that competing with Nifong in addition to a candidate who refused to serve if elected (Lewis Cheek) was a strong write-in candidate, attorney Steve Monks.
Taken together, the votes for Cheek and write-ins (the majority presumably for Monks; an astonishing 12-13 percent) would have defeated Nifong if combined for one candidate. Nifong certainly has nothing of which to be proud. Lots of fingerpointing this morning in both local dailies as to which alternate candidate should have dropped out.
What emerges is that Nifong will continue to prosecute a questionable case that will continue to divide one of the finest university/local communities in which I have had the pleasure of living. etbnc reminded us yesterday in the comments that Nifong has a history of prosecuting at least one similar high-profile case, unsuccessfully, where accumulating evidence dictated the futility of moving forward.
The Duke lacrosse case continues to disturb me, and detracts from the main theme of this blog, so I’ll simply leave you with a few key links for those Duke alum around the world who have tuned in to this humble blog:
Accuser in Duke lacrosse case wanted money
Former prosecutor alleges harassment
Locals just hope that Nifong follows through with his promise to also continue prosecution of a horrible quadruple murder case whose DNA evidence analysis he back-burnered while on his lacrosse witchhunt – results of which led to an indictment he wheeled out conveniently immediately following his thrashing on “60 Minutes.”
One hopes, at least, this indictment might be more appropriately based in fact.

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