The County Convention of the Guilford County Republican Party attracted two of the three front running Republican US Senate candidates to speak to the several hundred Republicans assembled.
At the March 12 Republican Guilford County Convention at Charity Baptist Church on Battleground Avenue, all Republican candidates in attendance were given the opportunity to speak for three minutes each, and a host of Republican candidates from across the state took advantage of the opportunity, including two who will be at the top of the May 17 Republican primary ballot running for the Republican nomination to the US Senate seat currently held by Sen. Richard Burr, who is not running for reelection.
There are 14 Republican candidates in the Senate primary, but the top three get most of the headlines, and two of those top three, former NC Gov. Pat McCrory and former 6th District Congressman Mark Walker, spoke at the convention.
According to a poll conducted by the John Locke Foundation in January, McCrory is leading with 24 percent, 13th District Congressman Ted Budd is second with 19 percent and Walker is third with 7 percent. Marjorie Eastman, who also spoke at the convention, had less than 1 percent in that survey.
Budd did not attend the convention.
Eastman, who along with McCrory and Walker, participated in the debate held by the Lock Foundation in February mainly focused on her experience as a combat veteran, a political outsider and a mom. Those are, as she noted, three attributes the other two candidates speaking at the convention couldn’t claim.
McCrory, who served as mayor of Charlotte for 14 years before serving four years as governor, noted that he grew up in Jamestown and was a graduate of Ragsdale High School and that Jamestown was where he learned his values.
In speaking of the 2016 race against Gov. Roy Cooper, McCrory said that a lot of political pundits had said, “If I hadn’t fought for your values I would have won, but I wouldn’t change a damn thing.”
He also noted that while governor he turned deficits in the state budget into surpluses while significantly lowering taxes.
Walker spoke about his own record serving as a conservative in Congress for six years, but took a different tack, saying, “This is about spiritual warfare much more than it is about politics, and we have to have candidates who understand we are battling evil.”
Walker also noted that when NC Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson had recently been attacked for speaking against pornography in elementary schools, he had been the only candidate to come out in support of Robinson.
(The photo is, from left, Pat McCrory, and Kelly and Mark Walker.)