NC GOP solidifies conservatives' hold on the party | Beaufort County Now | The way it ought to be

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Chairman Michael Whatley speaks at the 2021 N.C. Republican Party convention. (CJ photo by Maya Reagan)

The Carolina Journal is reporting:

Heading into the 2022 mid-term elections, the N.C. Republican Party will have continuity and unity surrounding its leadership. The state GOP re-elected Watauga County native and current Gaston County resident Michael Whatley as chairman during the party’s annual state convention.

Whatley will oversee state party operations, including critical get-out-the-vote operations for 2022 election. He will be tasked with unifying the activist base of the party after a potentially contentious party primary for an open U.S. Senate seat.

Whatley was first elected state party chair in summer 2019. Under his leadership, the 2020 elections were largely successful for the GOP. Then-President Donald Trump won the state’s electoral votes for a second time. Thom Tills was re-elected to the U.S. Senate in a come-from-behind victory. Republicans won open Council of State races for lieutenant governor, labor commissioner, and superintendent of public instruction. Republicans also captured all the statewide judicial elections and added seats in the GOP-controlled General Assembly.

While Whatley’s re-election never appeared in doubt, his victory was likely sealed when he landed Trump to keynote the convention.

The 45th president released a statement just hours before his appearance praising Whatley:

“A great honor to be speaking at the North Carolina GOP convention tomorrow night. I understand the place will be packed; all records broken! North Carolina produced a big victory for us, without a fraudulent outcome — missing ballots, illegal voting, dead people voting, and all of the other Democrat tricks. Before my Election in 2016, everybody said North Carolina was going ‘Blue,’ now they are saying that the Great State of North Carolina is surging big for Republicans. Look at the results we have produced. Thank you to Michael Whatley and the state party.”

Trump’s appearance will also raise significant funds for the state party, which has been on solid financial footing during Whatley’s tenure.

Whatley told delegates efforts are already underway to build a significant get-out-the-vote operation to meet the party’s goals. Among them: holding the open U.S. Senate seat currently occupied by Sen. Richard Burr, picking up additional congressional and legislative seats, and obtaining a majority on the state Supreme Court.

Ninth Congressional District Chair John Steward said via social media: “In 20 years, I have been going to NCGOP conventions, this is the FIRST time I have seen a State Party Chairman be unopposed and elected by UNANIMOUS CONSENT!! Congratulations Chairman Michael Whatley!”

Whatley also announced a new election integrity effort. The new committee will monitor county and state election boards, make “statutory and administrative rule recommendations,” and recruit poll observers and election integrity volunteers.

In a statement, Whatley said election integrity is “an issue we must address head-on to move forward as a party and as a country.”

“In 2020, the North Carolina Republican Party led the nation in implementing an effective statewide strategy to protect the vote,” he said. “This committee will spend the next year-and-a-half building on our past successes to ensure the 2022 elections in North Carolina remain fair and transparent.”

Leading the effort is former Wilson County state Sen. Buck Newton.

In a close vote, Cumberland County GOP activist and high school teacher Susan Mills defeated Lee County school board member Sherry Lynn Womack for NCGOP vice chair.

Mills emphasized her intentions to work closely with Whatley and to help build county parties.

“It is crucial that we have a state party that works together, instead of against each other. Our chairman and vice chairman need to work together for the greater good,” said Mills. “By activating, communicating, and engaging our county parties, we can help provide them the resources they need to activate, communicate, and engage their communities. It is critical that we equip our county parties with the information, resources, and direction they need to help keep North Carolina red in 2022 and beyond.”

Whatley and Mills will serve a two-year term until the summer of 2023.

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( June 8th, 2021 @ 7:53 am )
Conservative grassroots Republicans losing the vice chairmanship to the establishment is hardly "solidifying a hold" on the NCGOP. At the previous convention conservative Mariam Chu defeated the establishment candidate for the office of state GOP vice chairman. She did not run again. This time, the establishment candidate Susan Mills narrowly defeated the grassroots conservative candidate Sherry Womack. Conservatives clearly went backwards on one of the two major offices voted on. There was no contested race for the other office, but it was the establishment that won that one when it was last contested at the previous convention. The Carolina Journal does not have a byline. It could have been an uninformed intern who wrote that piece or it could have been major GOPe player Dallas Woodhouse who now works at Locke and tends to write on party matters.
( June 7th, 2021 @ 5:16 pm )
NCGOP Chairman Whatley seems to be going out of his way to try to counter President Trump's endorsement of Ted Budd:

That is NOT what I call conservative.
( June 7th, 2021 @ 12:04 pm )
BUT it is Robin Hayes' former executive director and alter ego Dallas Woodhouse who is writing at Carolina Journal about party affairs. It is Robin Hayes' left hand man Woodhouse who is claiming Whatley, and apparently even Mills, are "conservative". To Woodhouse, Thom Tillis, Richard Burr, and Karl Rove are "conservative", and he has even written at Carolina Journal in support of a Green New Deal boondoggle.
( June 7th, 2021 @ 10:18 am )
Robin Hayes is gone.
( June 7th, 2021 @ 10:07 am )
Carolina Journal is clueless on this one. Lets start with the vice chairman's race where longtime establishment Republican operative Susan Mills was declared the winner with 50.1% over conservative and grassroots activist Lt. Col. Sherry Lynn Womack (combat veteran with two Bronze Stars). Then there is Whatley himself, who was the establishment candidate against grassroots conservative candidate Jim Womack two years ago. Has the leopard suddenly changed his spots? Whatley was unopposed this time because he turned out to be quite successful, not because he joined the conservative wing of the party. He continues to thumb his nose at the grassroots, however, and did so at this convention in multiple ways. He asked the Rules Committee to put up draconian rules that effectively would have prevented the grassroots from being able to put up its positions at the convention. Fortunately, the convention body struck that proposed rule. Then he got others to use delaying tactics both on the convention floor and later at the Sunday state executive committee meeting to make certain that the conservative Resolutions Committee report was not addressed by either the convention or, as usually happens if the convention can't reach it, bu the state executive committee. People close to both issues confirmed that it was Whatley pushing both of those efforts to stifle the grassroots. Whatley is like Napolean, it that while he is successful, he also is very intent on having himself fully in charge of things. With Thom Tillis / Karl Rove GOP establishment hack DAllas Woodhouse now working at Carolina Journal, it is not at all suprising that they are all wet on this one.
( June 7th, 2021 @ 9:06 am )
I was with Maya Reagan Friday and Saturday evening; smart young woman to say the least . She has a fine camera with an equally outstanding telephoto lens (at some great personal expense) ... far better than mine.

You should make her image larger to showcase the fine resolution of her instrument.

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