LAURINBURG — The Scotland County Federation of Republican Women on Monday had a visit from Linda Arnold, vice president of the North Carolina Capitol Region, who kept mum on the race for U.S. Senate as members and associate members of the group expressed concern that too many Republican candidates have thrown their hat in the ring.
“They’re going to use up all their funds in a circular firing squad,” said Mark Schneck, chairman of the county’s Republican Party, of former Shelby mayor Ted Alexander, physician Greg Brannon, radio host Bill Flynn, nurse practitioner Heather Grant, pastor and Baptist State Convention of North Carolina president Mark Harris, and N.C. House speaker Thom Tillis, all slated to compete in the May Republican primary.
Arnold did not speak to any one candidate, but said her group, and Republican groups across the state, would be fully behind whoever came out ahead in the primary.
The group also penciled in dates for the Lincoln/Reagan Banquet and its county convention as Feb. 22 and March 15, respectively. The group decided to try for a Saturday afternoon convention to see if they could pull in a larger crowd, setting a tentative time of 1 p.m.
Bonnie Schenck, president of the Scotland County Republican Women, announced that Tom McInnis, of Iron Horse Auctions in Rockingham, was planning a run against Sen. Gene McLaurin for the 25th District Senate Seat in the North Carolina, which represents Anson, Richmond, Rowan, Scotland and Stanly counties.
“I think he’d be a pretty good candidate,” Schenck said. “He’s willing to put up beaucoup of his own money for this.”
The group also discussed upcoming speakers secured by Vice President Sylvia Witmore, including a March appearance by Lindalyn Kakadelis, director of the N.C. Educational Alliance, who has voiced opposition against the Common Core Curriculum.
Members of the group said the curriculum is not age appropriate, with Hal Culberson adding that Planned Parenthood was the author of sexual education text that begins in elementary school.
Arnold, who was in attendance to swear in the club’s officers, told about her experiences living in a home filled with “fireworks” created by two politically active, Republican parents. She said when she first moved to her North Carolina home 13 years ago, in “the people’s republic of Chapel Hill,” she first thought that there “wasn’t another Republican in the state” but soon found those with whom she connected over political matters, which led her to the post she holds today.
The group’s members lamented the lack of registered Republican voters in the county — about 3,600 compared with about 14,400 Democrats and 5,200 unaffiliated, with Mark Schenck saying the group has an “uphill battle.”
Officers installed were Bonnie Schenck, president and Whitmore, vice president. Diana Johnston, the group’s secretary and Robin Chapman, treasurer, were absent.