Kelly Disputes Report About Taylor Campaign
Elizabeth Kelly, a former chairwoman of the Moore County Republican Party, says she did not orchestrate the campaign for Gerald "Ged" Taylor to head the party.
She took exception to that wording in The Pilot's account of the county convention in Sunday's edition.
John C. Owen, who defeated Taylor to win re-election as chairman to a second term at the convention Saturday, also said The Pilot inaccurately reported the number of new Republi-can registrations taking place in Moore County in the two years of his chairmanship.
Instead of adding 106 names to the books, the Republ-icans gained an average of 106 names a month during Owen's previous term as county GOP chairman. The Moore County Board of Elections confirmed his assertion this week that the average was 106 new registrations a month, bringing the total for his term to 2,544.
Kelly said "a lot of people" led the effort to recruit Taylor to run for chairman against Owen. She said fellow Republicans recognized Taylor's quality at precinct and committee meetings because "he was so good and knowledgeable."
Kelly said she supported him. She was not a delegate to the convention but did attend.
"He (Taylor) thinks for himself," she said "I wouldn't try to pull his strings. We're both conservative, and we just happen to think alike."
Taylor teaches math and computer science at Calvary Christian School in Southern Pines, an institution with which Kelly and her husband, the Rev. Kent Kelly, have long been associated.
"He's a very sharp man, practically a genius, but he's got common sense too, which is a rare combination," Kelly said of Taylor.
It was state Rep. Joe Boylan who actually placed Taylor's name in nomination during the convention. This was significant because of controversy involving the state GOP leadership and former state Rep. Richard Morgan, a former co-speaker of the House and speaker pro tem at the time he was defeated in the Republican primary election last May.
Morgan and his supporters charged that the state party improperly provided campaign support, including money and workers, to support one GOP candidate (Boylan) over another (Morgan).
After the primary election, some Boylan supporters accused Owen of not supporting the Republican candidate in the general election, in which Boylan was challenged by two unaffiliated candidates, one of whom remained a registered Republi-can. Owen denied these allegations and said that the county party supported all Republican candidates in November.
When the vote count was taken at the convention Saturday, Owen won 118 to 95, which was a greater margin than his win over Kelly in the 2005 election. Three other delegates abstained from the stand-up vote.
Florence Gilkeson can be reached at 947-4962 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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