Republicans gather in Havelock for convention

Published: Monday, April 14, 2014 at 12:37 PM.

Hundreds of area Republican Party members joined together with GOP candidates and their advocates at the Third Congressional District Convention Saturday at the Havelock Tourist and Event Center.

The keynote speaker of the convention was Rosemary Fernandez, chair of the N.C. Republican National Hispanic Assembly. She spoke about how to engage the Hispanic voting population, her family experience and why self-reliance is in the best interest of families.

Following the keynote speaker, the candidates for U.S. Senate and their supporters were welcomed to address the crowd for five minutes each.

A male representative, calling himself “Major Dave,” spoke first for candidate Mark Harris. Reading a letter written by Harris, he said: “I’m dedicated to a life full of liberty, limited government and family. These principals and the Constitution itself are under attack like never before. More than anything, North Carolina Republicans must nominate a man unencumbered by questions of character. I don’t care how much experience you have or how well you know the Constitution, if you don’t have character, it just doesn’t matter. Character is the absolute core of what North Carolina and truly all of America needs most.

“As a native of our great state, I am in this race to give North Carolinians a new voice in Washington, a voice that will be conservative and solutions-oriented, a voice that says free market solutions are better than government programs, a voice that says no to Common Core and yes to more local control of our public schools, a voice for no amnesty on discussions of illegal immigration, a voice not willing to substitute political gamesmanship for doing what is right.”

Craven County Commissioner Scott C. Dacey then spoke on behalf of N.C. Rep. Thom Tillis, who is currently speaker of the N.C. House of Representatives.

“Does Thom enter this race with the background and skill set that will make him an effective United States senator?” Dacey rhetorically asked the crowd. “Let me tell you about Thom, … he is a former managing consultant with IBM. In 2006, he was elected to the state House. In 2008, he was again elected to the state House and then by his peers he was asked to serve as minority whip and chairman of the election campaign.

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