NCGOP also picking a new Pope?

claude popeWell, my theory about Robin Hayes’s announcement that he’s not seeking reelection to the NCGOP chairman post has panned out.  Claude Pope — Art’s cousin — has stepped out from the shadows to announce his campaign for the post being vacated by Hayes.  The fact that his campaign is being managed by Gov. Pat’s nephew AND his former campaign manager suggests that Pope’s move has the blessing of the Raleigh establishment.  

I don’t know much about this guy, but a few thoughts do pop up in my mind following the release of this news.  NCGOP has been breaking its neck to convince people that Art Pope is NOT calling all of the shots at party HQ.  How is hiring his cousin going to help that effort? 

Pope is a former Wake County resident, and Wake GOP chairman, who now lives in Brunswick County and owns the only grocery on the exclusive Bald Head Island resort.  Cars are banned from Bald Head, and you have to hop on an expensive ferry boat to get out there.  You’re pretty isolated from the rest of the state.  

Pope was elected Wake County Party chairman in March 2009, but resigned the post in November 2010 — citing his desire to ” pursue business opportunities.”   My question is this:  If he was too busy to run the Wake GOP, how is he going to find time to run the state GOP?

Pope is saying a lot of good things — but so do a lot of folks who are seeking election to various offices.  Lately, the state GOP organization has been pretty hostile to Tea Party and other grassroots operatives.  It would be good to hear how Art Pope’s cousin — with campaign advisers closely tied to the governor — plans to reverse that course and reach out to folks seeking to return the GOP to the conservative principles that led it out of the wilderness in the late 70s and early 80s.

Hopefully, we will avoid a situation where the establishment crams a candidate down our throats — like they did in the governor’s race.   A spirited, principle-laden debate and campaign for the chairman’s post would do a lot of good for North Carolina Republicans. 


8 thoughts on “NCGOP also picking a new Pope?

  1. I would like to see a hands-on chairman. Our most outstanding party chairmen have been full time – Frank Rouse, Dave Flaherty, Jack Hawke, and Jane Rouse. You have mentioned one big concern I would have. How is someone on Bald Head Island going to be a hands-on chairman?

  2. Found this from Rob Christenson “One reason why Hayes apparently chose not to seek a second term, is that McCrory indicated that he wanted his own man leading the party. Pope is politically close not only to McCrory but to such key McCrory advisors as McCrory and Art Pope, a distant cousein.”

    So if Hayes or “The Duke of Concord” as you call him was a RINO establishment anti grassroots Chairman that you say he is, what hope is left for Pope if McCrory forced Hayes out of office?

  3. The names associated with Claude Pope’s campaign do not do anything for me. I like Art Pope and would have supported him for the office some years ago when he was rumored to be interested in running for state chairman. That does not transfer to Claude Pope merely because they are related.

    Similarly, that a cousin of Gov. McCrory may be supporting Claude Pope does absolutely nothing for me.

    Worse, that Russell Peck is supporting Claude Pope is a huge turnoff. Not only was Peck fiercely opposed by former state GOP chairman Frank Rouse, whom I greatly respected, when he was hired as NCGOP ED, but Peck is very closely connected to liberal former GOP Floride Governor Charlie Crist (now a liberal Democrat). Given both of those things, anybody that Peck supports is somebody whom I am immediately suspicious of.

    Then there is the issue of McCrory’s apparent support. McCrory has been doing his best to be a non-Republican governor, waffling on Obamacare until the GOP legislative majority forced his hand, and his administration caving in on drivers licenses for illegal aliens. McCrory boasted that half his cabinet is non-Republican (for GOP activists, is that anything to boast about????) and when it gets to the sub-cabinet level his administration’s appointments are even worse. Given that record, I think we need a GOP chairman who will keep an eye on McCrory, not one who is in his hip pocket.

    Governor Martin’s cabinet was all Republican. I could accept his choice to lead the party. I cannot do so for a governor who appoints Democrats and Unaffiliates to half of his cabinet. With that attitude, would half of the NCGOP staff be non-Republicans?

    1. Agree completely! ”Ripon Robin” Hayes has been a disaster and King would have been worse. Good riddance!

      I don’t know enough about the two now seeking the position to fully make a decision and will have to wait to see how the race goes. However, the Russell Peck connection is a big negative for Pope. I well remember Frank Rouse’s email blasts concerning Peck, Frank’s opposition to him, and the heavy handed way Fetzer muscled Peck in as ED, particularly Fetzer’s failing to send notice of the central committee meeting where he was hired to a number of Peck opponents on the Central Committee.

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