Hayes to run for re-election as NCGOP chair, sets a new agenda for the partys future

Robin Hayes will run again, hoping to focus the state party on voter fraud and the "radical left protest movement"

Eamon Queeney—North State Journal
North Carolina Republican Party chairman and former U.S. Rep. Robin Hayes speaks during a press conference in front of the Legislative Building in downtown Raleigh in an undated photo

RALEIGH — NCGOP Chairman Robin Hayes has announced that he will seek re-election to his post at the helm of the state Republican party. This in a letter earlier in the week to party faithful. Hayes would face re-election at the state GOP convention in June. He took over the reins of the state party in April after turmoil with the former party chair, Hasan Harnett, threatened to fracture the NCGOP during a critical election year. Hayes led the party with its governing Central Committee, vice-chair Michelle Nix and Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse finding victory in most of the November outcomes with the notable exception of Governor Pat McCrory who lost re-election to Democrat Roy Cooper by just more that 10,000 votes. The state party’s fundraising and voter turnout machine brought a record 78 percent of registered Republicans to the polls in the 2016 general election compared to 68.5 percent of registered Democrats and 63 percent of registered independents. N.C. was a major focus of the presidential race, and N.C. went for Republican Donald Trump in the end. The highly charged campaign season has left a lot of volunteers battle-worn on both sides of aisle, particularly as protests appear to be a near weekly occurrence, even after the election.”Just as you, I am heartbroken we lost the Governor’s race, by the narrowest of margins. Moving forward, we must mount a full-time effort to counter the radical left protest movement and their cheerleaders in the media. I am taking, along with our staff, a very aggressive stance against the radical protesters, exposing their motives, funders and goals while publicly fighting the media bias that allows them to flourish,” said Hayes in his letter.Hayes also said that he intended to lead the party to focus heavily on combating what he called “ballot insecurity” and voter fraud. He also said that the Republican party is working with legislators to have party affiliations indicated on the ballot for upcoming judicial races, something he believes contributed to the defeat of incumbent N.C. Supreme Court Justice Bob Edmunds.”We strongly believe that Justice Bob Edmunds would have won if he had been identified as a Republican and was listed first on the ballot, as all other Republicans were. We believe this caused confusion with voters who thought they were voting for a Republican Supreme Court Justice,” he wrote.Asking for continued volunteer and financial support from party members, Hayes revealed that the state party had been in such a financial bind when he took over that it was three weeks away from having to close its door for lack of funding. He assured supporters that the party is back on strong financial footing due to aggressive fundraising and donations. Before serving as the state part chairman Hayes served two terms in the state House of Representatives and as U.S. congressman from North Carolina’s 8th District.