Henry Mitchell won another two year term as chair of the Buncombe County Republican Party.
He was elected March 23 at the party’s annual convention by acclamation. No one was nominated on the floor to run against him.
However, Mitchell has had some prominent critics within his own party over the last two years. Former chairs Robert Malt and Chad Nesbitt, who he succeeded in March of 2011, have both voiced disapproval. Tension within the party hit a boiling point last spring when the executive committee under Mitchell kicked out longtime party activist Don Yelton; Malt and a handful of others responded by walking away from leadership roles.
Meanwhile, Mitchell and his supporters have cited a long list of successes under his tenure. In a flyer circulating ahead of his most recent election, Mitchell boasted that the party’s more united and active than ever before, noting record fundraising numbers and a rising number of precinct captains. Last year, Republicans gained three seats on the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners and won both the 10th and 11th Congressional Districts races.
Over the next two years, Mitchell said he’ll continue trying to energize and organize the party. In the fall, Asheville will elect a new mayor and three city council members. Mitchell said a top priority is trying to recruit strong GOP candidates to run for those offices. But he admitted that it’s been tough to find any takers because residents of the city lean so heavily Democratic.
In addition to Mitchell, the party elected the following people to leadership positions:
1st vice chair: Pasty Gardin
2nd vice chair: Larry Harris
Secretary: Loretta Renolds
Treasurer: Bob Knapp
Members at large: Chuck Durand, Ronald Burgin, Pat Cothran, Linda Southard, Nancy Waldrop