Keynote speaker Guillory cancels appearance at Wake GOP convention

mquillin@newsobserver.comMarch 30, 2014 

Louisiana state Sen. Elbert Guillory, a keynote speaker for Monday’s Wake County Republican Party convention, has canceled his appearance, organizers said Sunday.

Guillory was to have told the story of his rise through the Republican ranks in his state, his switch to the Democratic Party and his return to the GOP, but pressing committee assignments prevented the trip, he said in a letter to the county party.

“Great is the weight upon my shoulders and heavy is my heart at not being in North Carolina,” Guillory wrote. “Still, our Master controls all.”

Wake County Republicans will still have a chance to meet their candidates – and one another – at the annual convention on to be held at 7 p.m. the Kerr Scott Building on the N.C. Fairgrounds.

Donna Williams, chairwoman of the all-volunteer Wake County GOP, said candidates for local 2014 races will set up tables at the event and talk with voters.

North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest will give a “state of the state” assessment, Williams said. U.S. Reps. Renee Ellmers and George Holding will give an update from Washington.

The event will include some party business, including changes to the party’s organizational plan. It also will have some fundraising work, Williams said, to help pay for such things as a mail campaign to get out the Republican vote for fall elections.

“It’s a wonderful place to come and learn who we are and what we’re about,” Williams said. She expects about 1,000 people to come.

Wake County Board of Commissioners Chairman Phil Matthews will be in the crowd. He said he looks forward to the event each year.

“There’s always a lot of fellowship going on and some strategizing,” Matthews said. “You get to see a lot of people from across the county you don’t get to see as often as you might like.”

Tickets will be available at the door; delegates and alternatives pay $40, and others pay $50. Students with identification can buy half-priced tickets.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. A reception with Ellmers, originally to include Guillory, will follow, for an additional charge of $99 per person or $150 per couple.

Quillin: 919-829-8989

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