There has been quite a bit of internal drama with Craven County’s Republicans during the last year. They’ve voted to censure state House speaker and US Senate candidate Thom Tillis for his efforts to meddle in area GOP primaries. Local party chairman Paul Hill — aided by state GOP officials — raised objections about this move. Local party leaders ordered that a letter of censure be sent to Tillis and the state party. Censure supporters on the ground in Craven County suggest that Hill balked at signing and mailing off the letter — a direct conflict with the instructions by the executive committee.
The perceived failure to comply with the censure vote — as well as other unrelated concerns about local party fundraising and operations management — led to some local party leaders bringing charges against Hill and moving for his removal from office.
Chairman Hill was allowed a hearing and afforded an opportunity to defend himself. But this week, Hill chose to resign his post as chairman of the Craven County GOP. By acclamation, longtime local activist Carl Mischka was voted in by the executive committee as Hill’s replacement.
A Craven GOP leader — who happens to be a friend of this site — tells me everyone is breathing a sigh of relief now that this is over:
“Our party treasury had dwindled down to four hundred dollars. There were local candidates in competitive races who were not getting the help they needed from the party. Things were realy bad. Paul’s refusal to abide by the party’s wishes in this whole Tillis thing was really the straw that broke the camel’s back. I’m glad that he took this route and resigned. Things really could have blown up into something ugly if he had stayed on and tried to fight.”
My source offers up one sort of humorous anecdote:
“Not long after Paul’s resignation, a woman from the Tillis Senate campaign called one of our party officers — who had supported the move to censure Tillis — seeking help in finding a county party chairman for the Tillis Senate campaign. Our local party just about imploded, thanks to Thom Tillis. We voted to censure Tillis. And the Tillis campaign calls up looking for one of us to run his local campaign ???