Politics & Government

Ex-NC GOP director arrested. Charge has been dropped, but he’s out of congressional job

Todd Poole, left, with the NC GOP, questions the motives of Progress NC Action, which filed a complaint against Gov. Pat McCrory in this March 2015 file photo. The complaint alleges that McCrory did not properly report travel as required by law.
Todd Poole, left, with the NC GOP, questions the motives of Progress NC Action, which filed a complaint against Gov. Pat McCrory in this March 2015 file photo. The complaint alleges that McCrory did not properly report travel as required by law. Raleigh

Todd Poole, a former executive director for the NC GOP and senior staff member for several Republican elected officials from North Carolina, resigned his job with U.S. Rep. Ted Budd’s office this month after being arrested on an assault charge, which was later dropped.

Poole, 44, was arrested May 4 at his Advance home and was charged with one misdemeanor count of assault on a female, according to a Davie County arrest record obtained by McClatchy. The charge was dismissed on May 19 at the “request of the prosecuting witness,” according to North Carolina criminal records.

Budd hired Poole on Dec. 20, 2016 after winning his race in North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District, but before taking office. Budd hailed Poole as “a proven leader with a wealth of experience and knowledge of the district and state” at the time. Budd won re-election in 2018.

As district director, Poole oversaw a staff of four or five employees and took Budd to events around the district. Poole offered his resignation on May 8, Budd said.

“I accepted it at that time and he is no longer with my office,” Budd said in a statement.

Poole served as executive director of the North Carolina Republican Party for more than two years before resigning in August 2015. Poole said he was resigning “to pursue other opportunities.” His resignation came just months after a new chairman, Hasan Harnett, was elected to lead the NC GOP.

Shortly after leaving the NC GOP, Poole was named chief of staff for Rep. Richard Hudson before joining Budd’s office. Previously, he worked for Rep. Virginia Foxx in a variety of roles, including five years as chief of staff, and for then-Rep. Richard Burr, according to his LinkedIn page and a press release from his hiring by Budd.

Poole was convicted in 2011 of driving while impaired in Watauga County. The judge in the case ordered Poole’s blood alcohol levels sealed, according to the Winston-Salem Journal. Poole was Foxx’s chief of staff at the time.

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Brian Murphy covers North Carolina’s congressional delegation and state issues from Washington, D.C., for The News & Observer, The Charlotte Observer and The Herald-Sun. He grew up in Cary and graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill. He previously worked for news organizations in Georgia, Idaho and Virginia. Reach him at 202.383.6089 or bmurphy@mcclatchydc.com.

David Raynor is database editor at The News & Observer where he acquires, maintains and analyzes data for the newsroom. He has worked on many stories and projects covering topics such as health care, campaign finance, census, crime, construction industry, elections, sports, education and environment. He joined the News & Observer in 1992.

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