The Guilford County Republican Party Executive Committee (GCRPEC) passed a resolution affirming the charges of party disloyalty against former District 3 Guilford County Board of Education member Bill Goebel on Monday, Oct. 9.
The vote by the executive committee was 30 to 3 in favor of the finding of party disloyalty.
That vote came after Lee Haywood gave a 10-minute presentation on why Goebel was guilty of party disloyalty and attorney Chuck Winfree, representing Goebel, gave a 10-minute speech in his defense. Each also had two minutes of rebuttal.
Goebel attended the meeting but didn’t speak in his own defense.
However, Goebel did speak at the meeting. At the beginning of the meeting, candidates were allowed to introduce themselves, state the office they were running for and say a few words. Goebel announced he was running for the District 3 school board seat. While the other candidates all received applause, one person clapped several times for Goebel but abruptly stopped.
The North Carolina Republican Party Plan of Organization states: “Any registered Republican attempting to influence or influencing the outcome of any election against a Republican candidate or Republican endorsed by the appropriate Republican Executive Committee or Legislative Caucus, other than by supporting an opposing Republican candidate in a Republican primary, may be declared ineligible to hold office under the State Plan of Organization at the State, District, County and Precinct level for Party Disloyalty by 2/3 vote of the State Executive Committee.”
So what the Guilford County Republican Party Executive Committee did on Oct. 9 was pass a resolution that will then go to the State Republican Party Executive Committee for consideration. If the state executive committee passes a Party Disloyalty resolution by 2/3 vote, then Goebel would not be able to hold any Republican Party office for from six months to five years.
The Party Disloyalty Resolution will not prevent Goebel from running for elected office as a Republican. So whether or not the state finds Goebel guilty of party disloyalty, he will be able to run as a Republican for the District 3 school board seat in 2024.
Haywood in his presentation went over the language of the State Plan of Organization and said that Goebel met in secret with Chair of the Guilford County Board of Education Deena Hayes and school board attorney Jill Wilson to devise the plan to seat him at the April 4 school board meeting instead of Michael Logan, who had been nominated by the GCRPEC.
Haywood noted several times that Goebel did not inform his fellow Republicans of this scheme. Haywood also said that Goebel could have resigned his seat at any time and the school board would have according to state law have had to seat whoever the GCRPEC nominated, but he chose not to do so.
As part of his presentation Haywood read the entire Rhino Times article headlined, “School Officials Told Goebel To Tell No One About Board Appointment,” by Scott D. Yost. In that article, Yost quotes Goebel as saying, “I was told not to say anything to anybody.” And according to the article Goebel did as he was told and didn’t tell anyone about the plan to have him appointed, with the notable exception of his wife.
Winfree quibbled with the exact date that Goebel began seeking the District 3 school board seat and handed out a printed copy of an email thread that showed Goebel contacted David Gleeson, at the time the chairman of the Guilford County Republican Party, on Feb. 15. However, the email thread also made it clear that this was not Goebel’s first contact with Republicans about having himself appointed to the school board seat.
Winfree also warned the GCRPEC that finding Goebel guilty of Party Disloyalty would hurt the chances of the Republican candidate winning that seat in 2024.
Winfree also noted that it wasn’t Goebel’s fault that the school board refused to seat Logan.
Goebel was removed from the District 3 school board seat when the state legislature passed Senate Bill 9 on Aug. 17. However, Goebel did not recognize that the state law removed him from office and resigned on Sept. 19 shortly before Logan was sworn into office.