The North Carolina Republican Party feud with its own chairman escalated Tuesday with the party accusing him of “apparent unethical and potentially illegal behavior” and circulating petitions for his ouster.
Petitions call for Hasan Harnett’s removal and for a special party meeting on April 30 to do that.
The meeting would come a week before the party’s state convention in Greensboro, where 30 delegates will be chosen to the national GOP convention in Cleveland.
Some Harnett supporters have said they plan to protest outside the 2nd District convention in Sanford, where other delegates will be chosen.
Harnett has been under fire since the state party’s Central Committee voted last month to censure him. Its resolution of no confidence included a litany of eight offenses “deemed harmful to the North Carolina Republican Party.”
The party’s first African-American chairman, he was elected last year with the help of grassroots and tea party activists. The current feud mirrors that of the national GOP, with establishment Republicans on one side and activists on the other.
Tuesday’s release included an affidavit from Ken Robol, a computer expert who teaches at Pitt Community College in Eastern North Carolina. In the affidavit, he said he told Harnett there were three ways to break into the party’s computer system. He said Harnett preferred what Robol called “the brute force attack” method.
“This is old and stale information, I deny all accusations,” Harnett, of Harrisburg, said Tuesday. “It’s another productive day at the N.C. GOP. …
“We should be focusing on our mission, and that’s to create an effective organization in every precinct in North Carolina.”