GOP election official removed for controversial remarks

Mac Butner, embattled Rowan County elections official.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A Republican elections official has been removed from his office in a vote by the North Carolina State Board of Elections.

Rowan County Elections Chairman Malcolm “Mac” Butner has made racially tinged Facebook posts praising the Confederacy and criticizing blacks who protested as not being “productive good citizens.”

SBE chair Josh Howard, speaking Thursday morning at the hearing, said, “Some of the things are so unfortunate I don’t even want to describe them.”

The board voted to remove him Thursday morning. Two members voted to retain him.

“He violated our rules concerning social media,” said Maja Kricker,a board member.

And Howard added, “There’s a balancing test involved in anyone’s right to exercise their First Amendment privileges. But when you go on a board, you have to temper some of your remarks.”

Howard said Butner did not work with the board and was “wildly unhelpful.”

“[He] just insisted that he had the right to do what he has done and he does not,” Howard said.

Butner also has used his social media accounts to support individual candidates, a violation of state law.
Butner told The Associated Press in July that he was a victim of political correctness and wouldn’t resign under any circumstances.

Butner post supporting the Confederacy (Facebook via WBTV)
Butner post supporting the Confederacy (Facebook via WBTV)

James Baker, a board member who voted against removing Butner, said social media guidelines should be more specific in the future.

“I think there needs to be a better understanding of what a person can and can’t do on social media,” Baker said.

He also said the fact that some of the posts came before Butner was on the board made him more unwilling to remove him.

According to WBTV in Charlotte, Butner once posted a picture of a Confederate flag and said the South was “illegally occupied by force, 1865-present.”

According to WBTV, Butner claimed liberals and Democrats “don’t have a principled bone in their body and they don’t care even if our constitutional republic is destroyed. To hell with the lesbos, queers, liberals and baby killers.”

He also posted, according to WBTV, “The primary difference between the leaders of the Confederate States of America and the Union is that Confederate leaders were godly gentlemen and the Union folks were not.”

He told the Salisbury Post that he did make disparaging remarks about William Barber and the North Carolina NAACP.

“Yes, I made disparaging remarks because I think they are all wrong,” Butner said in an interview published in The Salisbury Post in June of 2014.

In one post, he referred to the Moral Monday protesters and said, “Gee, They are all black. I guess the white folk could not get off because they were too busy working being productive, good citizens.”

Butner was named Chairman of the Rowan County Board of Elections in July of 2015. State GOP officials have since said the appointment was a “clerical error.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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