Not sure if this is even legal, but it's definitely unethical:
Independent N.C. House candidate Ken Fontenot should have enough signatures to see his name on the ballot in November, but supporters aren’t counting electoral chickens before they hatch. “Because they’re not verified, I’m not claiming victory,” said Christy Fyle, chairwoman of the Wilson County Republican Party.
The N.C. Republican Party is also backing Fontenot. State party officials paid for mailers that include a detachable petition signature form with a postage-paid return label to be distributed to 6,000 Wilson County homes. Rep. Susan Martin, R-Wilson, recorded a robocall urging Wilson voters to sign the petition.
Bolding mine, because it takes a special kind of idiot reporter to crank out such nonsense. You're either independent or you're not, and this candidate is not even close:
Fontenot said he will remain involved in Wilson County’s civic life as he campaigns for office.
“It’s all about people,” he said. “I plan to just continue to meet people face-to-face at every event possible, to have what I call skin in the game.”
A self-described conservative, Fontenot said he chooses to remain independent to avoid being pigeonholed as a partisan. Republicans say his values align closely with theirs and GOP officials have eagerly supported him even though he is not a party member.
Translated: "This is a heavy-leaning Democratic District, and I'm hoping to fool a bunch of these people into thinking I'm neutral"