Judicial endorsement quandry

By Dan Barry

In a few weeks we will gather with Republicans from across our great state in Hickory as we unite our party for the coming election during our annual convention.  

Like so many of you, I am thrilled to have the primary behind us so we can focus on the task at hand — electing Republicans. Union County, like other counties across the state, has been hard at work getting organized, raising money, and walking a few neighborhoods. We are busy building the Red Wall to prevent the Pelosi Progressives from gaining an inch.

This year I had the privilege of serving on the North Carolina Republican Party Plan of Organization Committee. The committee is asking delegates to approve a change in the Plan of Organization to allow Executive Committees to endorse candidates in judicial races where there is no primary. From a fundamental perspective, this is not something that any of us are pleased with. It is, however, necessary given the NCGA’s elimination of primaries in this year’s judicial elections.

The problem is simple math. If we have multiple Republican candidates enter these contests, the vote will be diluted and the opposition candidate runs at a significant advantage. Additionally, there is nothing to prevent a Democrat from switching party affiliation, filing as a Republican, and immediately switching parties after the filing closes. The Executive Committee will have an opportunity to vet these issues and make recommendations on candidates worthy of support. In no case is the Executive Committee required to make an endorsement.  

Union County has firsthand experience with this challenge. Several years ago, Union County had a number of individuals file in a non-partisan School Board election for an at-large seat. Only one Democrat filed. Diluting the Republican vote among several candidates gave the Democrat candidate a significant advantage and the Democrat was elected. 

We have all seen and are too familiar with what happens when Democratic activist judges are on the bench. We must come together and do all in our power to prevent this from happening.

The Plan of Organization Committee report is available online at the Convention Tab of the NCGOP.org website. I also welcome email inquiries to chairman@uniongop.com.  

Dan Barry is Chairman of the Union County Republican Party

Fed heat on Cooper

One day after North Carolina Democrat party lawyers deposed NC GOP executive director Dallas Woodhouse to engage in what Woodhouse dismissed as “a fishing expedition”, Republicans cast a line of their own but with a much larger hook and serious implications for Gov. Roy Cooper.

Woodhouse was forced to answer questions in response to Democrats’ demands to know what role he played in the his party’s cancellation of this year’s judicial primaries. The deposition is tied to a Democrat party lawsuit against GOP leaders Tim Moore and Phil Berger, attempting to overturn the elimination of those primaries last year.

While the lawsuit is little more than a sideshow — non-judicial county primaries are May 8; the case isn’t set for trial until June, leaving no time to wedge in another primary for judges — the NC GOP on April 24 issued a request for something with a bit more teeth, a federal investigation of Cooper and his role in the Governor’s office taking control of a $58 million pipeline fund.

The NC GOP is citing the Hobbs Act of 1949 in its submission to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Raleigh-based Robert J. Higdon Jr., the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

The Hobbs Act prevents wrongful property extortion by public officials whether they personally benefit financially or not. Eight governors have been convicted of public corruption through the Hobbs Act since becoming law 69 years ago.

Read the request for implementation of the Hobbs Act in the Cooper matter here.

A joint statement was issued by NC GOP Chairman Robin Hayes and Woodhouse:

“The conduct of Governor Cooper regarding the $58 million pipeline fund, designed to be under his sole control, appears to be the worst example of pay-to-play politics, intended to benefit him personally and/or politically. A serious look by federal investigators is warranted.”