Two African-American Republicans from the Charlotte area say J.C. Watts isn’t their choice to lead their national party – or to attract more minorities to the GOP.
Watts, a former congressman from Oklahoma, wants to replace chairman Reince Priebus at the party’s winter meeting in Charlotte next month. Watts, who is black, has criticized Priebus’ outreach to minorities.
“Having a person of color at the helm is not a silver bullet to increasing diversity in our party; we have been there and done that,” Glenn McCall of York County said in an email to his fellow national committee members.
The email was published Thursday in The Daily Caller, a conservative blog. His reference was an allusion to former Chairman Michael Steele, an African-American.
McCall, chairman of the York County GOP and one of South Carolina’s two representatives on the national committee, supports Priebus.
“Overall he did what we wanted him to do – restore credibility and bring back major donors,” McCall said.
Salisbury’s Ada Fisher is one of North Carolina’s national GOP committee members. She said Watts did little to reach out to minorities a decade ago when he headed a Republican group called GOPAC that sought out congressional candidates.
“He didn’t do that great a job when he was chairman,” she said. “I don’t think his candidacy has traction. But it draws a lot of newspaper attention because people always like controversy.”