RALEIGH — The North Carolina Republican Party Hall of Fame banquet was held Saturday, Dec. 7 at the North Raleigh Hilton.
The NC GOP’s Hall of Fame started in 1982 and became a biennial event beginning in 1985.
U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, Congressman Ted Budd (NC-13) and Congressman Mark Walker (NC-6), were in attendance as special guests, along with Tommy Hicks, co-chairman of the RNC, and Dr. Ralph Reed, the founder of the Faith and Freedom Coalition.
Awards given out at the event included the Charles R. Jonas Award, which honors commitment to the party through an elected position, and the J.E. Broyhill Award, given to a recipient who has represented the ideals of the party through grassroots engagement.
Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson took home the Charles R. Jonas’ Award, which bears the name of the former 10-term U.S. Representative who over the course of his career from 1954 to 1972, served districts 8, 9 and 10.
The J.E. Broyhill is named after James Edgar Broyhill, who built the Broyhill Furniture empire and served on the Republican National Committee from 1948 to 1965. This year the award went to Broyhill’s grandson, J. Edgar “Ed” Broyhill
In addition to being the namesake and grandson of J.E. Broyhill, Ed Broyhill is the son of James T. Broyhill, former U.S. representative for 24 years and briefly a U.S. senator.
A third award, the John P. East Memorial Award, recognizes a deceased individual who not only believed in the ideals of the Republican Party but also demonstrated their commitment to advancing those ideals in North Carolina at any level.
This year’s East Award went to Congressman Howard Coble, who served in the 6th Congressional District for 30 years, from 1985 to 2015. He also served as a representative in the N.C. House in 1969 and then again from 1979 to 1984. Coble, who passed away on Nov. 3, 2015, at the age of 84, was a lawyer by trade, practicing for over 20 years.
John Porter East served in the U.S. Senate from 1981 to his death on June 29, 1986. East was a protégé of Sen. Jesse Helms or as one media outlet dubbed him, “Helms on Wheels,” a reference to the fact East was a wheelchair-bound paraplegic since 1955 due to polio.
After his death, East was succeeded by J.E. Broyhill’s son, James. East was not seeking reelection and James Broyhill had already secured the nomination prior to East’s death. Gov. Jim Martin appointed Broyhill to fill the seat for the four-month remainder of East’s term.
Additional awards by district went out to Lynda West, Duane Cutlip, Mary Boughton, Patricia Randall, Lee McMillan, Evonne Parker, Adrain Arnett, Eleanor McGinnis, Mark Schenck, Pat C. Smith, Betty Budd, John Aneralla and Kelly Gallimore.