Sunday, June 8, 2008

NCGOP State Convention 2008

The North Carolina Republican Party's State Convention took
place at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro this weekend. I was honored to participate as an official Wake County Delegate. On a related note Wake County had the greatest number of delegates present at the convention. Go Wake!

The convention began Friday afternoon. Friday's activities were mainly ceremonial and informational. Convention officers were appointed, and a report from the credential's committee was presented, debated, and approved. Auxiliaries such as the Women's/Men's Federation, Young Republicans, and College Republicans all spoke to the convention. The presentation that stood out to me the most however was from Charissa Lloyd of the College Republicans. She is a very impressive young woman who spoke to her real life experiences about being a Republican at college - typically (but not always) a liberal institution. The future of our party is in good hands thanks to strong individuals like Mrs. Lloyd, the College Republicans, and Young Republicans.

Friday evening's dinner featured Katon Dawson, South Carolina Republican Party Chairman, as our guest speaker. After dinner I attended the hospitality suites of Congressional Candidate BJ Lawson, and Candidate for Attorney General Bob Crumley. It was a great evening of food, fun, and fellowship.

Saturday morning was hands down the highlight of the convention for me. I had the great pleasure of meeting and speaking with Governor Mike Huckabee. While I wholeheartedly support John McCain for President of the United States, Governor Huckabee was in fact my "first" choice. He is a man of integrity, honesty, and honor. He is truly a gentleman. Men like Governor Huckabee don't come around very often - they broke the mold when they made Mike. (see photo)

Afterwards convention delegates heard from all the candidates for statewide office including U.S. Senator Elizabeth Dole and Republican Candidate for Governor and Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory. I have heard Pat speak a number of times, but this was hands down the best speech I have ever heard him deliver. He had the place rocking! His recognition of N.C. Senator and former opponent Fred Smith was appreciated by many. It is so awesome how after the primary election was over with, all the former opponents have come together to support our party's nominee. It's a shame the Democratic candidates for Governor have been unable to do the same. U.S. Senator Richard Burr also spoke to the convention.

Saturday's lunch featured Governor Mike Huckabee as our guest speaker - and it's a good thing for Robert Pittenger he was there. Robert began choking on his food and couldn't breathe. Well, Before anyone could do anything to help, Governor Huckabee had his arms around him performing the Heimlich maneuver. Told you Mike was a great guy!!! ;-)

Saturday afternoon was our business session. We elected our National Committee man and woman, as well as at-large delegates and alternate delegates to the national convention. We also approved our amended party platform and resolutions. Afterwards delegates to the National Convention - of which I am one - had our first meeting. We elected State Party Chair Linda Daves as our Delegate Chair. She's awesome. The evening's dinner featured Congressman Robin Hayes as our guest speaker.

Sunday Morning we had our Chairman's Prayer Breakfast which featured Reverend Bill Miller as our guest speaker. Mr. Miller was also the Convention Chair, and I must say did an awesome job. Not only was he firm but fair, he was also entertaining and made great efforts to educate everyone in attendance on proper parliamentary procedure. Afterwards I loaded up and headed home.

In this delegate's opinion the convention was a great success. I was very encouraged to see that all Republicans in attendance - no matter who they supported during the primary season - put their differences aside, came together, and worked hard towards unifying our party. We are, after all, only as strong as our weakest link. United we stand, divided we fall.

I can't wait until the National Convention. :-)