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Nick Craig from Wilmington’s Morning News on 107.9 and 980 The Wave comments on the North Carolina Republican Party’s convention held last week.   He talks about the appearance of the three major candidates running for President, as well as those running for state and local government.  Above all, this convention was an appeal to party unity so we may get rid of the disastrous policies of the Democrats. 

Nick Craig: Welcome to the NHC GOP’s Friday update. I’m Nick Craig, host of Wilmington’s Morning News on 107.9 and 980 The Wave. And I’ve got the pleasure to host the podcast this week and talk about a very exciting event that happened in North Carolina this past weekend. It was the annual convention of the North Carolina Republican Party. This convention happens every year, and it’s an opportunity for Republicans from the mountains all the way down to the coast in our area to travel to a central location to discuss party business. That party business includes things like the plan of organization, the party platform and various other pieces of party business that need to be handled with on a yearly basis. According to Michael Whatley, the GOP chairman for the state, this year’s convention in Greensboro was the largest that the state GOP has ever had, with over 1880 delegates attending. Part of the convention on odd years, which 2023 is includes the election of party officers at a statewide level. And Michael Whatley, the current GOP chairman, was elected to another two year term to hold that position, leading us into the 2024 general election. Speaking of 2024, the North Carolina Republican Party Convention was the first time that the three major candidates that are running for president were all speaking at the same event. Now, not at the same time, but the same event. And it kicked off with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who addressed a dinner crowd on Friday night, talking about his accomplishments in the state of Florida and the things that they have done to battle back against the woke agenda and progressive policies that are encroaching all over the United States.

This was followed up by a lunch held by former Vice President Mike Pence. He the vice president under Donald J. Trump, whose speech served as kind of a rallying call, focusing a lot on the Constitution, the rule of law and order and his strong faith.

And the headline of the event, of course, the former president of the United States, Donald J. Trump just hours after learning that he was going to be indicted on some federal charges in regards to confidential documents, Donald Trump spoke to a sold out dinner crowd Saturday night. And what Republicans heard from the former president was his game plan for 2024, the things that he would hope to accomplish, serving four more years in the White House. And the elephant in the room, no pun intended, being this indictment looming over his head that just two days after the convention, he made his way to Miami to turn himself in and face those 37 federal charges. As a delegate and somebody that’s involved in Republican politics across the state. I think it was absolutely phenomenal to see and hear from all three of those major candidates vying for the position of the GOP nomination in 2024.

However, those weren’t the only 2024 races that were on display at the NC GOP convention. Three GOP gubernatorial candidates all addressed the delegation during the Saturday morning business session. It included front runner Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson, who has been campaigning for this governor race seemingly since he’s been in the lieutenant governor’s office. State Treasurer Dale Falwell, who spent some time in the General Assembly before going into the treasurer’s office, also announced that he would be vying for the GOP gubernatorial nomination. He addressed the crowd. And former congressman and Senate candidate Mark Walker also addressing the delegation on Saturday, talking about the experience that he brings to the table and why he thinks he should be the next governor of North Carolina.

As I mentioned at the top, the GOP convention is an opportunity for Republicans across the state to get together and discuss party business. One of the pieces of business that was discussed was a censorship against US Senator Thom Tillis. Now, this is something that the New Hanover County Republican Party actually sent to the state. And if you go and look at some of the paperwork from the convention, you will see New Hanover County as one of the county parties across the state that brought some things forward concerning Senator Thom Tillis. The resolution that was actually brought forward aimed to ensure that elected officials anywhere national, statewide or local, adhere to the values that are expressed in the North Carolina Republican Party’s platform. And that includes making public comments, releasing press briefings, campaigning and the big one dealing specifically with legislation. So Saturday morning, two thirds of the delegates that were in attendance decided they wanted to amend a resolution dealing with adherence to the state party’s platform, and they changed the motion so that it would reflect an official censorship of Thom Tillis. It needed support of two thirds of the body, and that had had in the North Carolina Republican Party has now officially gone forward and censured Thom Tillis surrounding some of the votes that he’s recently had. Those include things surrounding immigration, gun control and same sex marriage.

From my vantage point, one of the most interesting parts of the convention is when Representative Tricia Cotham got up and addressed the delegation. You’ve probably heard that name before. Tricia Cotham in the last couple of months has changed her party affiliation from Democrat to Republican. And when she made that switch, she claimed that the Democrat Party that she has been with her entire life no longer reflect her values. And she decided that it was the Republican Party that more closely aligned with her and the things that she believed in. The GOP convention was the first time that she’s addressed a large Republican base, and they were very excited to hear from her multiple standing ovations during her comments.

In wrapping up our conversation on this Friday update for the NHC GOP podcast, we need a unified Republican Party heading into the 2024 election, not only to beat Joe Biden and his disastrous policies, but to make sure that Josh Stein doesn’t become another progressive governor in this state and make sure that Republicans can continue to hold control of our North Carolina General Assembly. In the last four years, we’ve seen what kind of disastrous policies come from the left, and the only way to beat back against those is to have a strong, unified and successful Republican Party leading into the 2024 elections. I’m Nick Craig from Wilmington’s Morning News on 107.9 and 980 The Wave here hosting the Friday update for the NHC GOP podcast. Have a great weekend.