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DeVan Barbour, IV Elected 7th District Chairman, Convention Recap.

posted Apr 12, 2015, 7:51 AM by JohnstonCountyGOP   [ updated Apr 12, 2015, 11:01 AM ]
Saturday, April 11, 2015

The 7th District Republican Party Convention was held today at the Sampson County Exposition Center in Clinton, NC. Over 80 delegates from across the District gathered to hear an address from Congressman David Rouzer, elect new officers, and to consider a number of resolutions.

Retiring District Chairman Bob Muller started the meeting with a recap of the successes the GOP enjoyed in 2013-14. Unprecedented numbers of Republicans were elected to office at the local level. The District was not only key in helping former NC House Speaker Thom Tillis win Kay Hagan's US Senate seat, but David Rouzer became the first Republican to be elected to Congress representing the 7th District in over 140 years. Muller gave a statistical breakdown of registered Republican, Democratic and Unaffiliated voters. In the 7th District, Republicans account for 33% of the registered voters. Yet in 2014, David Rouzer took 59% of the vote and in the legislature Republicans make up 9 of the 16 House members and 7 of the 10 Senators. Given the large number of Republicans who were elected it is clear that not only are Republicans demonstrating a preference for conservative candidates, but Unaffiliated and even some Democratic voters share that vision for common sense solutions.

North Carolina GOP Chairman Claude Pope also spoke. He highlighted the teamwork that yielded positive results in 2014, particularly with the election of Senator Thom Tillis and Congressman David Rouzer. Though not seeking a second term, Chairman Pope said that he was confident that the fundamentals are in place for 2016 where voters across the state will vote on races from the Courthouse to the White House. He also applauded Chairman Muller for his hard work and dedication during his service and specifically applauded the County Chairs who he described as the among the hardest working unsung heroes of the party.

Vice Chairwoman Carolyn Justice addressed the convention with her unique combination of wit and wisdom. She reiterated Chairman Pope's observations regarding the service of Chairman Muller and Vice Chairman Arnett. She announced that she was seeking a second term and hoped to have the opportunity to continue working for the conservative cause. She also asked the delegates to consider voting for Craig Collins to succeed Chairman Pope.

Also speaking to the convention was Hasan Harnett who is running to succeed Chairman Pope. Harnett laid out his qualifications and his vision for leading the party during the 2016 election.

Congressman David Rouzer described his first few months in the US House. In those first days, he assembled a staff with a focus on constituent service and opened offices in Smithfield, Wilmington and Bolivia. Rouzer recounted how he wanted to serve on the Agriculture as well as the Transportation & Infrastructure Committees. He noted that of the Freshman Class of 2015, he was the only new Congressman to be selected to serve on his first two choices. Rouzer explained that he wanted these two committees since both covered issues of critical importance to the economic vitality of the district and the nation. Shortly after the selections were announced, the Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee summoned Rouzer to a meeting and asked him to serve as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture. This selection was especially significant since Rouzer is the first freshman in memory to be named as a Subcommittee Chairman.

Following Rouzer's address, Vice Chairman Adrain Arnett delivered the report of the District Nominating Committee. His report was accepted and there being no nominations from the floor, a new Chairman, Vice Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary were elected.

DeVan Barbour, IV of Benson was elected Chairman. As lifelong Republican, DeVan has been supporting conservative candidates and causes since his father first ran for Johnston County Board of Education when he was in the fifth grade. A graduate of NC State, DeVan has become a familiar face in Republican politics across North Carolina through his work with the North Carolina Republican Party, while a student at North Carolina State University, as well as Congressional, Gubernatorial, and Council of State campaigns since 2003. DeVan currently resides in Benson, with his wife Britany. He is a member of the Johnston Community College Board of Trustees, Benefits Consultant for Pierce Group Benefits, and Real Estate Broker with Coldwell Banker Advantage. Equally skilled at fundraising, grassroots work and social media outreach, DeVan possesses the talents that are critical to face the challenging days leading up to the 2016 elections.
NC 7th District GOP Chairman DeVan Barbour, IV

Helen Pannullo was elected Vice Chair. She has played an active role in the District since she was elected an at large member in 2009.  Additionally, she is chairman of the 7th District’s Plan of Organization Committee, leading a major revision in 2010.  As a member of the NC Republican Executive Committee, Helen has been an active participant at NC Republican Executive Committee meetings since 2009. Helen has been a member of the Brunswick County Republican Executive Committee since 2009, and she led the major upgrade of the county’s Plan of Organization in 2011 and has served on the Strategic Planning Committee and the Election Committee.   She was the county co-chair for Senator Richard Burr in 2010 and for McCain-Palin in 2008 and volunteered at county headquarters and the NC Victory Office for the 2008 and 2010 elections. Helen was instrumental in the development of the Brunswick County Republican Women and continues today as one of its strongest supporters.  During her presidency from 2008 – 2010, membership grew by 400%, the club provided effective support to Republican candidates, and received numerous state and national awards for their successful programs.  Helen is currently the vice president of the NC Federation of Republican Women’s (NCFRW) Coastal Region and Regent of the Federation.

Joyce Britt was elected as Secretary of the 7th District Republican Party. A Bladen County native, Joyce comes off a stint as the Chair of the Bladen County GOP where she was one of the youngest county chairs in North Carolina. Britt's skills paid off in  November, 2014 when her efforts led to a stunning upset with the election of Republican Jim McViker as Bladen County Sheriff in a county where Democrats outnumber Republicans by nearly 5 to 1. She has been a fixture in 7th District politics, bringing youth and vitality to the team. The lessons she has learned in building these successes will certainly be of value to other counties across the district.

Brenda Barker of New Hanover County was elected Treasurer. Brenda became active in GOP politics when she served as David Rouzer's New Hanover County Coordinator in 2012. She very quickly became adept at organizing community outreach events across this critical county and was equally valuable at putting together fundraisers. Very quickly she put together a network of supporters and activists that led to Rouzer's impressive performance in 2012 and his subsequent overwhelming victory in 2014. Brenda knows first hand what is needed to bring new people into the political process and that knowledge is sure to be an asset district-wide as we ramp up for 2016.

In other business, the Convention approved technical changes to the District Plan of Organization that would ensure compliance with the State plan, specifically with regards to changed dates arising from the scheduled primary election dates. The Convention also approved a resolution calling for the privatization of ABC stores, then considered two resolutions addressing primaries. One would hold that the presidential primary of 2016 to March 1 or later so that the state party would be able to have a full complement of delegates at the national convention. The other resolution would prohibit unaffiliated voters from participating in GOP primaries. An amendment was offered (and later defeated) that would prohibit public funding from paying for this type of primary. The latter resolution was laid upon the table, meaning that it would be considered again at a later date while the former resolution was approved.

The Convention concluded with remarks by the new District Chairman, DeVan Barbour, IV. He reiterated his intention of building upon the successes that Chairman Muller had realized and promised to work tirelessly in that pursuit. He said that doing this will require communication, cooperation, contributions and commitment. Following a standing ovation, the convention adjourned.