Moore GOP Leaders Optimistic About 2010
The current and former chairmen of the Moore County Republican Party say they are optimistic the newly elected state leaders will move the GOP forward in the 2010 elections.
Bob Levy, chairman of the county party, led a local delegation of 51 to the state convention held last weekend in Raleigh. Former Chairman John Owen was among them.
The GOP elected former Raleigh Mayor Tom Fetzer as the new state chairman. He defeated Chad Adams, a former Lee County commissioner who works for the John Locke Foundation.
Also running but eliminated by the first ballot were former Guilford County Chairman Marcus Kindley and Bill Randall, a Navy veteran from Wake Forest.
Moore County Republican activist George Little had also been mentioned as a possible candidate for the state post, but he decided instead to support Fetzer.
Moore County had the fourth-largest delegation among the 1,600 delegates, behind Wake, Mecklenburg, and Guilford counties, according to Levy.
"It was a great convention," Owen said. "When you're at a convention as big as this one, there are a lot of people who have different ideas and who speak their mind, so that's fun."
After Adams conceded before the final tally was announced, he and Fetzer appeared together on the stage and showed party unity by joining hands. But before this event, the race had supporters from both candidates taking to the Internet to spread accusations about the other, even prompting a lawsuit.
According to a story in the Sunday edition of The News & Observer of Raleigh, Fetzer filed a civil suit against a Wilmington talk show host and radio station for "forwarding an e-mail message that said he was attempting to hide that he was gay." The article also mentioned that Adams acknowledged an extra-marital affair after it appeared in an Internet campaign.
"Even though the campaign was hard fought and at times very tough, Adams and Fetzer coming together on stage showed how unified we are," Levy said.
Aside from the attacks during the campaign, many North Carolina Republicans are excited about Fetzer and Dr. Timothy Johnson -- the first black vice chairman -- assuming leadership of the party.
"I am looking forward to both taking the positions," Owen said. "He [Fetzer] is new and very experienced in working with large groups, being a former mayor. Dr. Johnson certainly made an excellent presentation, and everyone likes his different approach."
Republicans hope the party can make some gains in the 2010 off-year elections after taking a beating in 2008 when then-U.S. Sen. Barack Obama carried North Carolina and Kay Hagan knocked off Sen. Elizabeth Dole at the top of the ticket. Democrats also added to their majorities in Congress and in the state House and Senate.
Fetzer has promised to promote more fundraising and grass-roots politics as well as make the party more integrated with social networks on the Internet such as Facebook and YouTube.
"He has a great understanding of technology and how campaigns work," Levy said. "With that knowledge he can blend the two together. Everyone is delighted to see Fetzer lead. We really and truly believe that we can take one or two houses in 2010."
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