N.C. Republican Party Chairman Robin Hayes, a former congressman, says he’ll seek re-election as the party’s leader in June.
GOP leaders from across the state picked Hayes last year to finish the term of Hasan Harnett, who was ousted from his position after a series of controversies. Hayes had served in Congress from 1999 to 2009 and had also served a term as NCGOP chairman.
“Since being elected chairman last April, we have made incredible gains together as a party, but we still have a lot of work to do, which is why I have decided to run for re-election in June at this year’s State Convention,” Hayes wrote in a recent letter to Republicans.
His letter says the GOP has “dramatically improved its financial footing” since he took over from Harnett and “was only three weeks away from having to close our doors due to lack of funding” at the time.
Hayes could face opposition for re-election. Robert Watkins of Forsyth County, a former Americans For Prosperity field director, has told fellow Republicans he plans to run. A.J. Daoud of Pilot Mountain, who ran for secretary of state last year, is considering a run but hasn’t decided yet. Jim Womack, a former Lee County Commissioner, also says he might run.
The election for the party’s vice chair will be contested. Michele Nix of Kinston has announced she’ll seek a second term, posting on Facebook that the GOP has “a long way yet to go” because “media misinformation, misguided protesters, misdirected anger and the corruption that often finds its way into the political realm are ever present and must be confronted regularly and often.”
Heather Grant of Wilkes County, who ran for U.S. Senate in 2014, is also running for vice chair.
Hayes outlined his agenda in the letter announcing his re-election bid. “The NCGOP needs to coordinate a fully funded, full-time effort to fight voting irregularities and fraud,” he wrote. “Our efforts were strong but the left is leading a massive effort to create chaos in our elections.”
Hayes says he also wants to focus on building the party’s grassroots infrastructure and improving fundraising. “I want to demonstrate and monetize our value for all political donors,” he wrote. “We are the best bargain and value for all donors.”
Republicans will elect their leaders during the party’s convention June 2-4 in Wilmington.