The Nick Mackey dustup continues to divide.

Because of the botched process Democrats used last year to elect a Mecklenburg Sheriff, state Sen. Dan Clodfelter has written legislation that would reduce the role parties play in filling vacant seats, the Charlotte Observer reports.

Clodfelter, a Charlotte Democrat, wants to replace the state’s current hodge-podge system with a uniform process, the newspaper says.

Mackey, a Charlotte lawyer, was the Democrats’ pick in 2008 to replace outgoing Sheriff Jim Pendergraph. His selection fell through amid allegations of rules tampering, questions about his character and counter claims of racism.

Mecklenburg Commissioners later installed Mackey’s opponent, Chipp Bailey.

Under Clodfelter’s proposal, parties would recommend three people to fill vacancies and commissioners would pick one, the Observer says.

Mecklenburg Democrats have used the current system to appoint two prominent African Americans — Kelly Alexander Jr. to the N.C. legislature and George Dunlap to county commission.

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