Republican Sebastian King officially launched his campaign for the District 27 state Senate seat currently held by Democratic state Sen. Michael Garrett with a press release dated Nov. 12, 2019.
First time candidates often stumble out of the starting gate, which may explain why King’s press release states, “He currently serves as Executive Director of the Guilford County Republican Party.”
King is not the executive director and only served as executive director for a couple of months. He resigned that position in May. Chairman of the Guilford County Republican Party David Gleeson was under considerable pressure to remove King from his position as executive director, which is a voluntary position appointed by the chairman. After having a conversation with King, Gleeson announced that King had resigned.
Gleeson was under pressure to remove King because members of the Guilford County Republican Party Executive Committee were concerned that King was attending events as the executive director and then campaigning for the District 27 Senate seat. Since several other Republicans were considering running for the seat, including former District 27 state Sen. Trudy Wade, the appearance that King was using his party position to campaign raised a considerable amount of ire. Candidates are not required to resign their party positions until they file for office, so technically King had violated no official Republican Party policy.
The fact that King’s official press release states he is the “executive director” might be written off as an oversight, but King also did an interview with WXII in September where he is identified as the “executive director” by Bill O’Neill. When the segment originally ran, King was also identified by the chyron as the executive director, but King said he called O’Neill and had that corrected. However, the audio was not corrected.
On Nov. 19 when the error in the Nov. 12 press release was pointed out, King said, “That’s not accurate. He should have taken that out.”
The press release was sent out on Nov. 12 and no correction has been received by the Rhino Times.
Filing for candidates for the 2020 election opens on Dec. 2.