The head of North Carolina's statewide elections board is resigning. This comes just as the 2016 elections cycle starts with candidates filing for ballot places next month.

State Board of Elections Chairman Josh Howard said Tuesday he'll step down for health reasons effective New Year's Day. His replacement to the five-member board that handles election disputes will be picked by Gov. Pat McCrory from candidates recommended by the state Republican Party.

Howard is a Raleigh lawyer appointed to a four-year term in 2013. He previously worked on white-collar criminal cases at the U.S. Justice Department in Washington, D.C. and North Carolina.


The Associated Press contributed to this report

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