James Lee Knox, who announced last month that he would withdraw from the Winston-Salem mayoral race, is running after all.
The Republican candidate never took any action to remove his name from the ballot, and last week his campaign manager was handing out a flier outlining Knox's platform at an event sponsored by Forsyth County Republican Women on the topic of Common Core educational standards.
Knox withdrew from the race in August after the Forsyth County Republican Party formally withheld its support because of Knox had used the racial slur "n*****" in reference to an election worker during the 2012 election. Knox's criminal record also surfaced as a liability during the campaign.
Singletary said that Knox completely acknowledged having made the slur.
"He has apologized," Singletary said. "The idea that he's a racist is ridiculous. Many of his clients are African American.... He spoke in error. He spoke in the heat of the moment."
Singletary said Knox suspended his campaign to protect his family and mitigate dissension within the county party.
"However, there needs to be a Republican on the ballot, so there is a choice," Singletary said. "James may not fit your image of a mayoral candidate, but he epitomizes a small-town mayor, family man, and small business owner who's made mistakes like the rest of us."
Knox is challenging Democrat Allen Joines, who has served as mayor since 2001.