NCGOP leadership races starting to get crowded




With all of the infighting between grassroots activists and establishment types this past year, you had to expect this. Right now, it appears there will be at least five people competing for the NCGOP’s top two posts — which come up for a vote at the state convention in June.

Chairman Robin Hayes just announced his decision to not seek reelection.  Vice-chairman Wayne King has taken a paid position with Congressman Mark Meadows (R-11th), and has not announced his intentions regarding reelection.  For those of you under the impression that Hayes got thrown under the bus by Gov. Pat, one of my A-number-One insider sources in our fair capital city is here to set you straight:

“Robin, as a victim?  Nonsense.  He didn’t want to run again.  The McCrory team asked him to delay his announcement as long as he could, so the deck could be stacked for a McCrory-supported candidate for party chairman.  Robin announced his decision so close to the vote — well after many county conventions have occurred — that it would be tough for a grassroots candidate to emerge for the chairman position. This was well-played.”

Claude Pope, the former chairman of the Wake County GOP, has announced his decision to seek the state party chairmanship.  His candidacy has been blessed by Gov. Pat, and his campaign is being run by Gov. Pat’s nephew and former campaign manager.  

Jack Brosch, a Mecklenburg County-based Tea Party activist, has signaled his intentions to also seek the party’s top post.  In 2012, Brosch was the GOP nominee against incumbent Democrat congressman Mel Watt.

Former legislator Glen Bradley of Wake County has already announced his intention to seek the vice-chairman post.   Dave “Major Dave” Goetze of Wake County has also signaled his intention to seek the party’s #2 spot.

I understand — from some Piedmont and western North Carolina sources — that former Guilford County GOP chairman Marcus Kindley is talking up the idea of running for vice-chairman.

  If King were to seek reelection, that would give us FOUR candidates for the vice-chairman race.   I am hearing some other prominent names being bandied about for either of the two posts.  But June is not so far away, and it is now put-up-or-shut-up time.   The NCGOP confab in June looks like it might be kind of  fun.   

6 thoughts on “NCGOP leadership races starting to get crowded

  1. Sorry editor, you have absolutely NO idea what you are talking about here. The fact that your “A-number-One insider sources in our fair capital city” is giving you this type of information has blown your cover. Terrible.

  2. Marcus Kindley has become sort of a Harold Stassen of NCGOP convventions. It seems like he is always running and always losing.

    The post of campaign manager in a statewide campaign these days is really more of a ”go-fer” as the real decisions are always made by the consultant (in McCrory’s race that was Hawke), so that really does not has the punch it might appear to with the uninformed. The real decision to be made by delegates on Pope is about Pope himself, and it is up to Pope to make a solid case of why he will be a better chairman. Endorsements are just fluff, no matter who they are from. Similarly, Brosch has the responsibility of presenting why he would do a better job in the position.

  3. I don’t like politicians telling me who to support for Chairman and V-C even though i like Pat. I will not support Pope, Brosch? Oh please, he would be terrible. Enough already with Wake County candidates. Say what you want about Kindley but he would make an excellent V-C. I will be there with my delegation and we will block vote our county for our final choice. Should be a great convention. The only Wake County person I would do flips over and respect highly is Tom Fetzer, I miss his leadership.

  4. I hope our guy is at least paying his taxes on time. The Democrats have given us an excellent opportunity to make up some ground here. Electing a man who has long standing problems paying his taxes on time is truly a blessing for the Republicans. On the other hand letting your taxes slide may appeal to quite a few people. It is something like the Boston Tea Party except you are not throwing the tea into the harbor, you are keeping it. Maybe the state Dems are upstaging the Tea Party. We might better study this new tax strategy more carefully. “I stand at the door and knock. Where will you be, brother, when the knock comes? Where will you be on April 15th?”

  5. Lets look at the history of GOP governors getting involved in NCGOP state chairman races.

    Holshouser did so. The sitting chairman, Frank Rouse, came from the conservative Gardner / Goldwater wing of the party and was a favorite of the grassroots. Holshouser recruited and back Tom Bennett of coastal Carteret County, and spent most of his patronage on jobs and appointments to buy off support for Bennett in a very bitter and devisive race against Rouse, ultimately winning. In contrast to Rouse who had been one of the outstanding GOP chairmen of all time, Bennett was a poor chairman, rarely coming out of his hole in Carteret County to do anything. Party operations were left to a mediocre party staff of Holshouser loyalists. The pathetic state of the party coupled with Watergate gave NC Republicans the worst loss record in the country and the worst in its own history in 1974. The result was a compromise candidate for state chairman in 1975, Senator Bob Shaw (R-Guiliford) who was acceptable to both the grassroots conservatives and to the Holshouser group. The grassroots got the parting shot at Holshouser at the 1976 presidential year state convention when they voted not to send Holshouser as a delegate to the national convention, a rare rebuke for a sitting governor.

    Then there was Martin. The sitting chairman was Dave Flaherty, again one of the greats among state party chairmen. Flaherty took a high appointment in the Martin adminstration (how many Republicans are getting those these days from the McCrory administration??????) and resigned. Bob Bradshaw, who had been a party and Martin fundraiser in Mecklenburg for years ran with no opposition at the state executive committee, and then again unopposed at the state convention. Martin’s support was understood but mostly under the radar. Bradshaw was more engaged in doing the job than Bennett, but still left much to the Virginian he had hired as party ED, with the Central Committee rubberstamping that hiring. Both proved very lacklustre in their leadership, and the party failed to capitalize on the governorship in the 1986 midterm election. With the Govenor’s encouragement, Jack Hawke ran in 1987. Hawke had been a key player in the old Gardner / Goldwater conservative wing of the party and so struck a chord with the grassroots. The grassroots was split, with Dr. Barry McCarty, a dynamic young conservative county chairman from the east also running, with the support of the Congressional Club. The governor did not get actively involved in the campaign, leaving that to Hawke himself, who won handily and proved to be one of the party’s outstanding state chairmen. Hawke remained chairman throughout Martin’s term and was reelected to one futher term after Martin left office.

    So with governors getting involved, we have had two poor chairmen and one outstanding chairman. We have had one governor get actively involved in the chairman’s race and it blew up in his face and one governor who stayed behind the scenes without being an active player, and avoided party fighting. There are lessons there for both party activists and governors.

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