JD Wooten is finally attempting to explain why he used a Veterans Affairs loan
to purchase a second home in 2019, violating the requirements of the VA loan program, but his excuses only raise more questions.
After losing in his run for Senate District 24 in 2018, JD Wooten kept his campaign committee open and active. In fact, as the treasurer for his own campaign committee, Wooten reported donations to the campaign throughout the next two calendar years, 2019 and 2020. He even reported in-kind contributions from himself for the cost of his monthly phone bill starting in January of 2019 (source: NC State Board of Elections
). But during 2019, while running for NC Senate, Wooten bought a second home on Lindell Road in Greensboro, outside of Senate District 24, using a VA loan.
VA loan occupancy requirements
state: "Veterans and active-duty personnel who secure a VA loan have to certify that they intend to personally occupy the property as a primary residence."
These loans give veterans the opportunity to buy their primary residences with zero money down, lower closing costs, and lower monthly payments. However, the program is only intended for primary residences, not investment properties, rentals, or vacation homes.
"J.D. Wooten admitted that he did not meet the VA occupancy requirements, even though he signed a deed of trust certifying that he would occupy the house for a year. Now he's trying to pretend it didn't happen and hide the truth from the voters,"
said NCGOP Press Secretary Tim Wigginton.
Wooten's campaign finance reports raise questions about false statements on either his 2019 Mid-Year report where he listed his home address as Hargrove Drive in McLeansville, or an amended one, filed in July 2020, where he listed the Lindell Road property in Greensboro has his home address. Clearly, at least one report is false. Wooten has not explained why he filed the amended report.
Below is a timeline of JD Wooten's actions in 2019, proving he always intended to run for Senate District 24, bought a home outside the district with a VA loan anyway, then changed his campaign finance reports after the fact. Also note, JD Wooten purchased another home in Greensboro in 2017 — 2 miles from the Lindell Road house — using another VA loan.
— JD Wooten filed a campaign finance report, keeping his Senate District 24 campaign committee open and active. Wooten raised money for his campaign throughout 2019, before and after moving out of the district to the Lindell Road house that he would purchase with a VA loan.
— JD Wooten used a VA loan to purchase a home in Greensboro on Lindell Road. The deed of trust he signed stated: "Borrower shall occupy, establish, and use the Property as Borrower's principal residence within 60 days after the execution of this Security Instrument and shall continue to occupy the Property as Borrower's principal residence for at least one year after the date of occupancy..."
— JD Wooten posted on his campaign Facebook page about "moving NC forward," presumably while moving belongings into the Lindell Road house and wearing a "JD Wooten for NC Senate District 24" t-shirt. Wooten was clearly alluding to running for Senate District 24 again...while moving himself or someone else into the Lindell Road house...outside of the district.
— Six weeks later, Wooten announced
that he was running again for NC Senate District 24.
— Wooten filed his 2019 Mid-Year campaign finance report stating his home address as Hargrove Drive in McLeansville, which is in Senate District 24, not the address of the house that he had recently purchased with a VA loan, Lindell Road in Greensboro.
— Wooten changed his voter registration from Hargrove Drive to Redland Court in McLeansville. He never changed his voter registration to Lindell Road. In response to Wooten's cease and desist letter to the NCGOP and Galey campaign, clarification was requested as to why he never changed his voter registration to Lindell Road, if he indeed intended to live there. Wooten did not respond to questions about why he never registered to vote at the house he bought with a VA loan.
— WXII-TV reported
that Wooten confirmed he did not meet the 1-year residency requirement of his VA loan.
— After the WXII-TV report, Wooten filed an amended 2019 Mid-Year campaign finance report changing his address from Hargrove Drive to Lindell Road. One of these two reports is false
. In the original report, Wooten stated that he lived at his former house on Hargrove Drive, which is in Senate District 24, while actively running for that seat. In his amended report, filed just weeks ago after this story broke, Wooten claimed that he moved out of Senate District 24, continued running for the seat, then moved back into the district by October. At least one of these reports contains a false statement about JD Wooten's primary address.
- Contact: Tim Wigginton