LOCAL REPUBLICANS HELD THEIR COUNTY CONVENTION ON SATURDAY; FILLED OPPORTUNITY HOUSE WITH ENTHUSIASM

Henderson County Republican Convention

North Carolina House Speaker and U.S. Senate candidate Thom Tillis was one of the featured speakers Saturday morning as  Henderson County Republicans gathered at Opportunity House for the annual Republican county convention. The yard was full of campaign signs and the Opportunity House main meeting room was filled with local Republican candidates, precinct officials, and party supporters.

Glen Engleram took over as the new county chairman of Republicans. Greg Newman served as convention chairman again. And the convention heard an array of speakers including county commission Chairman Charlie Messer, State Representative Chris Whitmire who represents Transylvania, Polk and parts of Henderson counties; Congressman Mark Meadows and State Senator Tom Apodaca.

All the Republican candidates involved in the local elections this year were there...many had tables set up with their campaign material. Most of them are facing no Demcoart challengers, so for them the election will be over after the May 6th primary.

There was a lot of enthusiasm and party loyalty at the convention, and especially for the Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Democrat Kay Hagan.  Three candidate for that Senate seat attended the convention...and the annual Lincoln-Reagan lunch that followed.

One of the leading contenders for that U.S. Senate seat is the current Speaker of the North Carolina State House of Representatives, Thom Tillis. Speaker Tillis sat down with WHKP News after the convention on Saturday...and we asked him...1)about his top priority if elected to the U.S. Senate...which he said is fixing our ailing economy; 2)about Obamacare...which he said he will vote to repeal; and 3)about controversial education legislation passed, partially under his leadership, in last year's session of the North Carolina General Assembly...which he said has paved the way for substantial teacher pay raises and increases in state education spending in this year's "short" session of the legislature.  Be listening for the Speaker's comments on these issues and more in WHKP's local news on Monday and throughout the coming week.

By WHKP News Director Larry Freeman

Updated 1am 3/23/14

Photo at the top of the page by the Hendersonville Times-News