Sept. 6, 2013. Casey Miller, a registered Republican of Watauga County, penned the following letter addressed to Claude Pope, chairman of the N.C. GOP, after attending an Executive Committee Meeting of the Watauga County Republican Party on Aug. 29. Miller also sent the letter to Todd Poole, executive director of the N.C. GOP Executive Committee. Read the entire letter below:
The Watauga County Republican Party held an Executive Committee Meeting on August 29, 2013 at 5:30 P.M. Immediately after opening the Meeting, Ann Marie Yates, Chairman Watauga GOP, called for a “close session” of the Executive meeting and all registered Republicans not currently on the Executive Committee were asked to leave the meeting. The Chairman stated that “candidate strategies” would be discussed and no one but Executive Committee Members would be allowed to participate. Those that were asked to leave the meeting included potential Republican partisan candidates for the 2014 Election. Other potential Republican candidates inside the meeting addressed the Executive committee, while others candidates were appointed “Co-Precinct Chairs” in order to return to the meeting and address the Executive members. Other potential Republican candidates were never invited to return or appointed as “Co-Precinct Chairs” in order to gain entry to the meeting and address the Executive Committee. According to Article II. 2., Precinct Chairs and all other Precinct officers are elected by members of their precinct. Precinct officers CAN NOT be appointed by the Executive Committee or the County Chairman of the GOP Party, only by members of each individual precinct. “Co-Precinct Chairs” is not a recognized precinct position in the State Plan of Organization, however Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer are valid/recognized positions, however these positions can only be appointed at a Precinct level. According to Article VII. E. 1. & 2. No GOP Executive Committee shall endorse a candidate in a Republican Primary Election unless the Primary is a non-partisan election (see Article VII. 7.b.). County GOP Executive Committee’s can form a “candidate recruitment committee” designed to recruit potential candidates, but CAN NOT endorse one Republican candidate in the same Primary Election over any other Republican candidate.
According to Article I. A. All citizens of North Carolina who are registered Republicans are Members of the Republican Party of North Carolina and shall have the right to participate in the official affairs of the Republican Party in accordance with these rules. So, why were Registered Republicans removed from the meeting while “official affairs” were being discussed?
Also, Ann Marie Yates, Chairman of the Watauga County Republican Party has publicly endorsed an Unaffiliated Candidate in the 2013 Municipal Election through social media “Facebook.” According to Article VII 7.b. of the North Carolina Republican Party Plan of Organization, the GOP Executive Committee or Chairman CAN NOT actively support a candidate of another Party or independent candidate running in opposition to a candidate of the Republican Party. In the Town of Boone Municipal election for Mayor, three Candidates have filed for election; one Democrat, one Republican and one Unaffiliated, therefore according to Article VII 7.b. this behavior is considered “Party Disloyalty” and makes Ms. Yates subject to removal from office.
Therefore, it is requested that the Watauga County GOP Chairman, Ann Marie Yates, be removed immediately from her position as Chairman due to the violation of her position as a County Executive Member. It is also requested that Victoria Smith be removed as Vice-Chairman of the Watauga County GOP Party due to her participation in these same violations.
It is recommended these positions be filled immediately by the State GOP Party Executive Committee OR a County Convention be held as soon as possible to elect responsible, knowledgeable and fair members to the County GOP Executive Committee.
Thank you for your attention in this matter,
Potential Candidate for County Commissioner 2014