Breaking precedent the Guilford County Republican Party decided to get involved in the 2022 nonpartisan City Council election, but didn’t have much success.
Although the City Council elections are nonpartisan, it was well known that there wasn’t a single Republican on the City Council elected in 2017 which served until Aug. 11, 2022. In September 2021 Hugh Holston was appointed to fill a vacant at large seat on the City Council, but Holston is not a Republican.
In part because of the low voter turnout predicted in the unique July 26 City Council election, the Guilford County GOP saw a get-out-the-vote campaign as an opportunity to elect more Republicans to the City Council.
The effort which consisted mainly of two mailers and handouts at the polls didn’t have the desired effect and at least one Republican City Council candidate has been asking questions about the effort.
Former District 5 City Council candidate Tony Wilkins who was defeated by District 5 City Councilmember Tammi Thurm in the July 26 election, has been asking some questions about exactly what the Guilford County GOP did and has had difficulty getting answers.
On June 13 the Guilford County Republican Party Executive Committee voted to spend $12,000 on a get-out-the-vote campaign for Republican City Council candidates including Chris Meadows who at the same meeting announced he was running a write-in campaign for mayor.
The Republican City Council candidates who agreed to participate in the effort in addition to Meadows, At Large City Council candidate Katie Rossabi, District 4 City Council candidate Thurston Reeder and Wilkins all lost in the general election.
District 3 City Councilmember Zack Matheny who ran unopposed declined the offer to be included on the Guilford County GOP campaign material. Matheny is also the only Republican who won election to the City Council.
The first mailer sent out by the Guilford County GOP caused some controversy because while it was supposed to only be sent to Republicans registered to vote in Greensboro, it was sent to a number of Democrats and unaffiliated voters as well as voters who live in Guilford County but not in Greensboro.
While the Guilford County GOP picked up the cost of the campaign effort, the candidates who participated had to list a portion of that cost as a contribution on their campaign finance reports which led to some questions.
After the election, Wilkins noted that he did not receive the second GOP mailer and a number of Greensboro Republicans had contacted him and said they hadn’t received the second GOP mailer either. Wilkins asked the Guilford County GOP treasurer for the mail list and was referred to Meadows who along with being a write-in candidate was charged with handling the mailers for the Guilford County GOP. Meadows replied that he was too busy to send the mail list to Wilkins.
However, Chairman of the Guilford County Republican Party David Gleeson did send the second mail list to Wilkins and that list raised more questions.
Wilkins noted that he was not on the list and nor were a number of registered Republicans in Greensboro while some unaffiliated voters were as well as Guilford County voters who don’t live in Greensboro were on the list.
While serving on the City Council Wilkins became known for asking questions and continuing to ask them until he received answers.
Now that he has the list Wilkins wants to know who created it and why many Greensboro Republicans are not on it.
I am a republican and voted for Tony but to call this race nonpartisan is ridiculous. At one of the polling sites a lady was passing out flyers with only the Democrats listed. This election should not be nonpartisan, the voters have a right to know what party the candidate is affiliated with.
In the case of Tony, I attended several forums and Tony was absent at each of these. I agree that several were biased in nature with the questioned asked but Tammi showed up at each one and made statements that were in some cases ambiguous but Tony was not there to challenge those statements.
Considering the narrow margin by which Wilkins lost I understand his questioning of the Republican Party.
I think he’d be better served by noting the apathy that exists among voters, particularly Republicans.
Apathy got us where we are and it will muffle the response of outrage many of us participating voters feel knowing we’re on the hook for a 30% hike in local property taxes and $1,700,000,000 bond that even our grandchildren will be unable to pay back.
I received only ONE of the mailers. Like they say: Republican Party is the “stupid party.” That’s why things like this happen. Also, pushing a ‘write-in candidate was stupid. Have you ever heard of one winning? I’m convinced Meadows took votes away from Outling, who was the lesser of evils.
He was the lesser of the evils. However, I wrote in my dog, in hopes she would be mentioned in the Rhino Times as getting a few votes. I convinced a few others to write her in also. I knew Meadows was stroking his own ego and could not win, and was content to let the 2 mayoral candidates fight it out as they both have been detrimental to our city. My previous dog who has since passed away received a mention in the last mayoral election so I was a little disappointed.
So if you and a couple hundred other voters would have done their real duty and voted for a viable candidate, you could have collectively made a difference. Instead you wasted your vote. Way to stick to ’em.
What a disaster for the Guilford County Republican Party. Supporting Chris Meadows as an after thought for Mayor cost us another four years of Nancy Vaughan. This means more Lawlessness in Greensboro, Crime, Traffic Fatalaties, Greensboro Coliseum Fiasco’s, and Aggravated Assaults as Miss Nancy doesn’t believe in law enforcement! You don’t just jump out of Bed one day Chris and decide to run for Mayor! You plan, you work, and bring the messagge to the voters that we need change! The Guilford County Republican Party should be ashamed!
Well said. There was a base of 55% of primary voters who voted against Vaughan and for some other candidate. That increased to 57% during the general election. The only thing the write-in campaign accomplished was to re-elect Nancy Vaughan. Had the write-in candidate gotten on the ballot in the primary a)his name would have been there instead of having to be written in, b)he would have had a chance to take part in the debates and forums, and c)the money the party spent would have more effective, because voter’s choices in a primary are more open to persuasion than after they have already voted once for some other candidate. If the argument is that the write-in candidate wouldn’t have made it through the primary, then what did anyone think was going to change in the general? Wilkins is absolutely right in questioning the way the money on the mailers was spent. It might have helped the Republican council candidates build name recognition in the primary, but instead it was wasted in the general. Considering the result, the mailers should have just said “Re Elect Nancy Vaughan” on them.
SHould be. but, aren’t
I agree with your “just don’t jump out of bed…and decide to run.” However, I believe the thought was that voters tired of Vaughn and with no faith in Outling’s ability to lead and change Greensboro’s direction, would muster the necessary drive to vote for a write-in candidate. Afterall, the election was so important. That idea failed because Greensboro voters are so apathetic with so little energy and desire to be involved in the change process through voting. However, no one knows if Meadows had not been a write-in candidate that Vaughn would have lost. Maybe, just maybe those who voted for Meadows are the light at the end of the tunnel. As my handle implies, I am for term limits for all elected positions; local, state and federal. Stale politicians become corrupt, lazy and void of new ideas. Look no further than Greensboro’s council members.
That kind of BS is preciously why I changed my 30year registration from Republican to Unaffiliated, immediately after the November 2020 fiasco. People need to wake up to the fact that the Republican party as run by Mitt Romney’s niece is only the right wing of the Uniparty vulture. Distinguish that from the growing subset of conservative members and candidates, deridngly referred to as Trump republicans, whom ironically a large portion of the voters identify with, as do I. Find a way to directly support such candidates, as they will find little to no help from the RNC.
Your statement is one reason I support term limits. Term limits would help rid the country of career politicians; lobbyist would have a harder time and less influence getting their hooks into elected members of city, state and federal offices; term limits would foster the original concept of citizen service; could potentially reduce the heavy weight of bureaucracy. Imagine our Congress without Pelosi, Schumer, AOC and on and on. The country is too big for career politicians. Email your House Rep. and Senator requesting that a term limits amendment to the constitution be introduced and voted on. I have. Convention of States takes too long.
Write Raleigh Assembly Members, too.
$12,000 for a city wide campaign mailer in a city with a half million population? Let’s face it, Republicans in Guilford County have long had no real interest nor stomach for a fight. The handwriting was clear 8-10 years earlier when Republican County Commission majorities opted for rent a cops instead of 2nd Amendment advocacy. Having been part of that fight during that time, I saw the handwriting on the wall and relocated permanently to more conservative pastures. I suggest conservatives remining in Guilford and especially Greensboro do the same.