Former Wake County commissioner, state representative, cited with assault after pushing poll worker

Wake County News

WAKE FOREST, N.C. (WNCN) — A former Wake County commissioner and former Republican member of the North Carolina House of Representatives was cited for misdemeanor assault after pushing a poll worker at an early voting center in Wake Forest.

Gary Pendleton, 73, was cited by the Wake County Sheriff’s Office. Pendleton served as Chairman of the Wake County Board of Commissioners from 1992-1996 and a state representative serving District 49 (Wake County) from 2014-2016.

Wake Forest police say at 7:47 a.m., officers responded to a reported assault at the Northern Regional Center, 350 E. Holding Ave., which is the sole early voting site in Wake Forest.

The responding officer found no evidence of an assault nor was there any video to support such a claim, police say.

As a result, no charges were filed by Wake Forest Police.

According to an interview from the Washington Post, Pendleton said he became angry at the polling site’s chief judge after he was told he could not enter the premises until polls opened at 8 a.m. Pendleton said he had been allowed in at a different voting center at 7 a.m. Thursday, the first day of in-person voting in North Carolina.

When the election judge stepped in front of him to block his entry, Pendleton told The Post he pushed him away.

“I really got upset about it, and I said, ‘Well, what are you doing up in there that you don’t want us to see?’” Pendleton said in the interview.

The Sheriff’s Office says Pendleton will appear in court “at a later date.”

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