Former Guilford County Commissioner Alan Branson got a big setback on Monday, July 18 in his attempt to stop the Guilford County Board of Elections and the NC State Board of Elections from certifying the electoral approval of the $1.7 billion school bond referendum that was passed by voters in the May election.

Branson, a Republican, has argued that Guilford County government and Guilford County Schools illegally promoted the passage of the referendum by using taxpayer money for that purpose.

His case had previously been knocked down by a one-vote margin along straight party lines by both the Guilford County Board of Elections and they NC State Board of Elections.

On July 18, Superior Court Judge Norlan Graves declined to stay the bond’s certification.

Later in the day, Branson told the Rhino Times that he said he expects another lawsuit from a different party to be filed arguing “campaign finance” laws were violated.  He said his own battle may have come to an end.

He also said the judge’s decision regarding his complaint hit hard.

“This was a huge gut punch,” said the former commissioner who is now running for the at-large seat on the Guilford County Board of Commissioners.

Branson pointed out that, as with all of the no votes on the two Boards of Elections, this decision was also made by a Democrat.

“It was a Democratic judge,” he said.

He added that he and his attorneys would wait for the full written order to be released before deciding if and how to proceed.

Branson also said he wanted to thank supporters for all their help so far, especially those who had contributed through Facebook and GoFundMe pages.

“It’s been truly encouraging,” he said.

He called the July 18 court decision “a huge disappointment for the taxpayers and voters of Guilford County” and said they deserve to have a “straight-shooting, honest, and transparent government – especially when it comes to their tax dollars,”

Branson said he believes his election board complaints and subsequent court action have done some good because, in the future, the county and the schools will be much less likely to be so cavalier about blatantly using taxpayer money to illegally promote bonds.

“I think they will face a great deal of scrutiny in the future,” Branson said.