GOP delegates and alternates from the Triangle

August 25, 2012 

The 55 voting members of North Carolina’s delegation to the Republican National Convention include U.S. Reps. Renee Ellmers of Dunn and Virginia Foxx of Banner Elk, state Senate leader Phil Berger of Eden and House Speaker Thom Tillis of Cornelius. The following are delegates and alternates from Wake, Durham and Orange counties.

ZANDSTRA "ZAN" BUNN

Age: 47

Residence: Raleigh

Occupation: Consultant and chair for the 13th District executive committee. She’s an alternate delegate.

Twitter: @zanbunn

VINCENT "VINNIE" DeBENEDETTO

Age: 71

Residence: Holly Springs

Occupation: Semi-retired real estate broker. He’s also a former town councilman who lost re-election in 2009 by three dozen votes. He also submitted the winning design for the lapel pin that each member of the state GOP delegation will wear in Tampa.

MARTHA JENKINS

Residence: Chapel Hill

Occupation: Business owner. She’s secretary for the state GOP and a former president of the N.C. Federation of Republican Women. She attended her first convention – the 2000 Philadelphia convention – as an alternate. This time she’s a voting delegate.

Twitter: @marthajenkins

HARRY KAPLAN

Age: 53

Residence: Raleigh

Occupation: The lawyer/lobbyist with McGuire Woods in Raleigh represents some of the state’s biggest special interests. A major GOP donor, he says he wants to see a pro-growth economic policy.

Twitter: @harrisonjkaplan

BRET McGRAW

Age: 30

Residence: Durham

Occupation: Chef, artist and musician who is a member of a couple of area metal bands.

JEFFREY PALMER

Age: 54

Residence: Durham

Occupation: Engineer. Was a Ron Paul alternate delegate at the 2008 convention. He’s an alternate this time as well.

ART POPE

Age: 56

Residence: Raleigh

Occupation: Owner of the retail chain Variety Wholesalers. Pope is the state’s most prominent Republican donor, having already given nearly $62,000 this year to the Republican National Committee alone. This is his fourth convention.

CLAUDE POPE JR.

Age: 52

Residence: Bald Head Island and Raleigh

Occupation: Business owner. A distant cousin of Art Pope, he served for 20 months as head of the Wake County GOP before stepping down in 2010. He’s currently writing a novel about Bald Head Island set in part during a hurricane.

Twitter: @claudepope

KIERAN SHANAHAN

Age: 56

Occupation: Lawyer. He’s also a volunteer spokesman for the Republican Party and saw a lot of TV time as a media analyst during the John Edwards trial. He is now pursuing a case against Democratic state Chairman David Parker.

JEANNE SMOOT

Age: 69

Residence: Raleigh

Occupation: The retired professor worked five years in Washington for the Reagan administration for the U.S. Information Agency. Smoot says she’s worried about the lack of leadership. She’s an alternate delegate this convention.

TOM STARK

Age: 57

Residence: Durham

Occupation: Lawyer with Stark Law Group in Chapel Hill and a former chairman of the Durham County Republican Party.

JOHN UNDERWOOD

Age: 43

Residence: Apex

Occupation: Software developer for UNC Health Care. A Ron Paul supporter, he’s headed to Tampa as an alternate delegate.

Twitter: @jnunderwood

Instagram: jnunderwood

DONNA WILLIAMS

Age: 57

Residence: Raleigh

Occupation: Full-time volunteer. The founding president of the Northern Wake Republican Club ran unsuccessfully for the Wake County school board last year.

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