Politics & Government

Seven former NC GOP chairs call for ouster of Hasan Harnett

In an unprecedented move, seven former North Carolina Republican chairs wrote party officials Monday urging the ouster of the current chairman.

In the letter to the party’s executive committee, former chairs Claude Pope, Robin Hayes, Bill Cobey, Ferrel Blount, Jim Hastings, Jane Rouse and Tom Fetzer said they are “disappointed and even appalled at the actions of current NCGOP Chairman Hasan Harnett.”

The appeal comes days before Saturday’s scheduled executive committee meeting where a vote is expected to be taken on Harnett’s future.

Harnett was elected last year with the support of tea party and grassroots activists. He upset a candidate who had the backing of Gov. Pat McCrory and other GOP elected leaders.

Last month the GOP Central Committee voted to censure Harnett, citing eight “gross violations of the Party’s rules.” Among them: jeopardizing the security of party computer systems as well as its fundraising apparatus.

In their letter, the former chairs wrote, “The multiple inaccurate statements being spread by Hassan Harnett, undermine the work of our grassroots activists that have long been dedicated to our party.

“He has demonstrated time and time again that he is not capable of being chairman. We, as former chairmen, respectfully and sincerely ask to vote to remove Hasan Harnett as chairman on the NC Republican Party.”

Harnett could not be reached for comment. Supporter Daniel Rufty said he’s out of the country on business.

“This is part of the good old boy’s club and Hasan’s not a part of it,” said Rufty, the GOP’s 12th District chairman. “I think it’s absurd. The evidence they’ve presented against Hasan is ludicrous.”

Jim Morrill: 704-358-5059, @jimmorrill

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