North Carolina Republican Party
Although Republicans first nominated a candidate for President of the United States, John C. Fremont, in 1856, the party was not established in North Carolina until 1867, after the Civil War. With the help of the newly enfranchised freedmen, Republicans were briefly successful in state politics, dominating the convention that wrote the Constitution of North Carolina of 1868 and electing several governors. After Reconstruction, Democrats returned to power, often suppressing the black vote by violence and fraud. Republicans had success in the 1890s when they joined forces with the Populist party in an “electoral fusion.” They gained enough seats in the legislature to control it in 1896, and elected Daniel L. Russell as governor in 1896.
To prevent this kind of challenge, after Democrats regained control of the state legislature, in 1900 they adopted a constitutional suffrage amendment which required prepayment of a poll tax and an educational qualification (to be assessed by a registrar, which meant that it could be subjectively applied), and lengthened the residence period required before registration. A grandfather clause exempted from the poll tax those entitled to vote on January 1, 1867, which limited exemptions to white men. These barriers to voter registration caused a dramatic drop in the number of African-American voters in the state by 1904, although they constituted one-third of the population. An estimated 75,000 black male citizens lost the vote.
With North Carolina a one-party Democratic state of the Solid South following the disfranchisement of blacks, North Carolina Republicans struggled to survive as a party during the first half of the twentieth century. African Americans were virtually excluded from the political system in the state until the late 1960s. In 1928 Republicans carried the state’s electoral votes for president (for candidate Herbert Hoover). White members of the Republican Party generally lived in the Piedmont near Charlotte and Winston-Salem, and the mountains in the western part of the state. In 1952 Charles R. Jonas was elected to Congress from the western part of the state as the first Republican since before the Great Depression. He was joined in 1962 by Jim Broyhill. From this base, and nearly winning the electoral votes for the state in the Presidential elections from 1952 to 1960, the party began to grow.
As in other southern states, in the late 20th century, white conservatives began to shift from the Democratic Party to the Republican one, especially after national Democratic leaders supported the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. White conservatives first voted for Republican presidential candidates. From 1968 through 2004, the majority of North Carolina voters supported Republicans in every presidential election, except 1976, when favorite son Democrat Jimmy Carter was elected from Georgia. When they re-entered the political system, African Americans shifted their alliance from the Republican to the Democratic Party, which had national leaders who had supported the civil rights effort and legislation enforcing their constitutional rights as citizens.
In 1972, Republicans became competitive in statewide elections for the first time since 1900: James Holshouser was elected Governor of the state, and Jesse Helms, a former Democrat who held office for a long time, was elected to the U.S. Senate. Jack Lee, who was elected state party chairperson in 1977, is widely credited with unifying the North Carolina Republican Party in this period.
The parties were generally competitive, with the state’s voters split between them, through much of the rest of the 20th century.
The elections of 2010 led to Republican control of both houses of the North Carolina General Assembly for the first time since 1896 when it had gained success in a fusionist campaign with the Populist Party.
The state legislature’s redistricting of congressional districts has been challenged in several lawsuits for racial gerrymandering, which are still in progress in 2016.
In 2012, Republicans retained control of the legislature and elected two Republicans, Pat McCrory and Dan Forest, as Governor and Lieutenant Governor, respectively. Most of the other Council of State offices (the Governor and Lieutenant Governor are Chairman and Vice Chairman, respectively) were won by Democratic candidates. (The other Republicans are Cherie K. Berry, Commissioner of Labor and Steve Troxler, Commissioner of Agriculture.)
The most recent version of the North Carolina Republican platform was released on June 7, 2013. It contains ten articles and was formed by 13 district representatives and 3 Republican chair members.
The Republicans of North Carolina support two parent male-female family values. Same-sex marriage is not supported by North Carolina Republicans and amendments to the constitution are supported to limit the definition of marriage to a man and woman.
North Carolina Republicans passed laws in 2016 to order the transgender people to use their bathrooms according to their original sex. On March 23, 2016, Governor McCrory signed the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act (commonly known as House Bill 2 or HB2), which has been described as the most anti-LGBT legislation in the United States. One contentious element of the law eliminates and forbids cities to re-establish anti-discrimination protections for gay, transgender, and intersex people. The law also legislates that in government buildings, people may only use restrooms that correspond to the sex on their birth certificates, which has been criticized because it prevents transgender people who do not or cannot alter their birth certificates from using the restroom consistent with their gender identity.
The party supports free enterprise economics with little government regulation and taxation. North Carolina is the top tax payer in the southeast United States.
The party believes that individuals possess God-given inherent rights, and it is the job of the government to protect them and support equality under the law.
This section of the platform affirms the party’s opposition to government healthcare mandates that are inconsistent with the religious tenets of an organization; it supports free-market solutions to the healthcare crisis.
Sanctity of life
The party believes that the government must respect and protect all human life from conception to natural death and that Roe v. Wade (1972) should be overturned.
The use of human cloning or human embryos for scientific research is opposed by the party.
The party believes that government must not spend money it does not have or levy unfunded mandates on local government. The party opposes gambling or a state lottery.
Citizens should have access to campaign finance records according to the party .
The party supports poll judges, updated voter rolls and the use of photo identification to deter fraud.
The party believes:
- All children should have access to a quality education
- The right to pray in school and at public events privately should be protected.
- Patriotism should be encouraged in public schools. Curriculum should include information on the founding of the country and the United States Declaration of Independence. Economics should be taught as well in order to form well rounded citizens.
- Sex education should not be taught to students without parental consent: abstinence should be taught in its stead and the bulk of sexual education be left to the parents.
- Vocational education should be expanded.
The party supports the death penalty in cases of murder. According to their 2011 justice plank, the wait time for the death penalty to be executed should be cut as much as possible.
North Carolina Republicans have been criticized for their support of the death penalty, as studies have shown it has been disproportionately applied to racial minorities. In an effort to repeal the Racial Justice Act, North Carolina Republicans introduced a bill that would essentially veto the act passed in 2009. In June 2013, North Carolina’s governor Pat McCrory signed the repeal of the Racial Justice Act, saying that the law was essentially a ban on capital punishment in the state.
The party believes in a duty to protect natural resources. They support a comprehensive energy policy to promote energy security and independence.
The party believes that the first priority of the federal government is to provide for our security, which includes adequate support and compensation for our troops.
English should be the official language of the United States.
The party supports Social Security, but also supports alternative financial retirement options.
Current elected officials
The party controls six of the ten statewide Council of State offices and holds a majority in both the North Carolina House of Representatives and the North Carolina Senate. Republicans also hold both of the state’s U.S. Senate seats and 8 of the state’s 13 U.S. House seats.
When the Republican-controlled legislature conducted redistricting in 2011, it established districts biased toward Republicans. As a result, although more voters chose Democratic congressional candidates in the state in 2012 than Republican, the Republicans took a majority of the seats. The redistricting has been challenged in legal cases going before the Supreme Court.
Members of Congress
- Class II: Thom Tillis (Junior Senator)
- Class III: Richard Burr (Senior Senator, Chair of Senate Intelligence Committee)
U.S. House of Representatives
Out of the 13 seats North Carolina is apportioned in the U.S. House of Representatives, 10 are held by Republicans:
- NC-02: George Holding
- NC-03: Greg Murphy
- NC-05: Virginia Foxx
- NC-06: Mark Walker
- NC-07: David Rouzer
- NC-08: Richard Hudson
- NC-09: Dan Bishop
- NC-10: Patrick McHenry
- NC-11: Mark Meadows
- NC-13: Ted Budd
Republicans control six of the ten elected statewide offices:
- Lieutenant Governor: Dan Forest
- Commissioner of Agriculture: Steve Troxler
- Commissioner of Insurance: Mike Causey
- Commissioner of Labor: Cherie Berry
- Superintendent of Public Instruction: Mark Johnson
- Treasurer: Dale Folwell
North Carolina General Assembly
- Senate President Pro Tempore: Phil Berger
- Senate Majority Leader: Harry Brown
- Speaker of the House: Tim Moore
- “About”. ncgop.org.
- “The North Carolina Civil War Experience – War’s End and Reconstruction”.
- “North Carolina History Project : Fusion Politics”. Archived from the original on 2012-09-04.
- “The North Carolina Election of 1898”.
- Richard H. Pildes, “Democracy, Anti-Democracy, and the Canon”, Constitutional Commentary, Vol.17, 2000, p. 27. Retrieved March 10, 2008
- Historical Census Browser, 1900 US Census, University of Virginia Archived 2007-08-23 at the Wayback Machine, accessed 15 Mar 2008
- Albert Shaw, The American Monthly Review of Reviews, Vol.XXII, Jul-Dec 1900, p.274
- Richard H. Pildes, “Democracy, Anti-Democracy, and the Canon”, Constitutional Commentary, Vol. 17, 2000, pp. 12-13
- “North Carolina Presidential Election Voting History”.
- “The election of 1972 – North Carolina Digital History”.
- Jacobs, Chick (2014-06-11). “Former Fayetteville mayor, Jackson Lee, dies”. Fayetteville Observer. Retrieved 2014-06-13.
- “Former Fayetteville Mayor Elected Chairman of Party”. Spartanburg Herald-Journal. 1977-04-16. Retrieved 2014-06-13.
- “Republican party takes control over NC General Assembly”. 3 November 2010.
- “How North Carolina signed a bill dubbed the most anti-LGBT law in the U.S.” pbs.org. Public Broadcasting Service. 24 March 2016. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
- Kopan, Tal; Scott, Eugene (24 March 2016). “North Carolina governor signs controversial transgender bill”. cnn.com. Cable News Network. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
- Gordon, Michael; Price, Mark S.; Peralta, Katie (26 March 2016). “Understanding HB2: North Carolina’s newest law solidifies state’s role in defining discrimination”. charlotteobserver.com. The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
- Tan, Avianne (24 March 2016). “North Carolina’s Controversial ‘Anti-LGBT’ Bill Explained”. abcnews.go.com. American Broadcasting Company. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
- “What Just Happened In North Carolina?”. TPM. Retrieved 27 March 2016.
- “NC Governor vetoes death row racial bias bill”. Archived from the original on 14 January 2012.
- Matt Smith (June 21, 2013). “‘Racial Justice Act’ repealed in North Carolina”. CNN. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
- The New York Times, 11 March 2016
- Official website
- NC Republican Senate Caucus Website
- NC Federation of Republican Men
- NC Federation of Republican Women
- North Carolina Federation of Young Professional Republicans, formerly the NC Young Republicans
- NC Teenage Republicans
- List of county parties
- Oral History Interview with Jack Hawke (chair from 1987-1995) from Oral Histories of the American South