Former New Bern Mayor Lee Bettis attempted to file to run for district attorney Friday, but he was unable to do so.
Bettis plans to run for the district attorney seat of District 3B, comprised of Carteret, Craven and Pamlico Counties. Scott Thomas is the current DA of that district.
But Bettis was unable to register in Raleigh Friday morning because he is not officially affiliated with the Republican, Democratic or Libertarian parties. A candidate must register 90 days before the filing deadline to be considered affiliated with a party.
Now, Bettis has two options to run in the election for DA. He can run as a write-in candidate, or he can gather the signatures of 4 percent of the registered voters in Carteret, Craven and Pamlico Counties by noon on Friday, June 27 to get on the ballot. That means he needs 5,155 signatures.
Thomas, a Democrat, has already filed for reelection. The primary will be in May.
Bettis is currently charged with DWI, two counts of misdemeanor child abuse, and careless and reckless driving. According to investigators, Bettis had his two stepchildren in his car when he was pulled over by Havelock Police in May for allegedly driving erratically.
Bettis blew a 0.00 on a breathalyzer, but was still charged with DWI. He did test positive for prescription Xanax, according to a State Crime Lab report, although the level of the drug in his bloodstream was not released.
Bettis is scheduled to be in court on June 24 for those charges.