In the wake of the sudden resignation in early May of its new chair, Mike Harris, the Buncombe County Republican Party has been through the rumor mill and come out on the other side without ill effects — at least, according to former chair and current secretary George Keller. “The first vice-chair took over promptly, as specified in our structure,” Keller said of Richard Mills, now acting chair. “Whatever it was that caused the problem has quietly died down.”
Not that quietly, according to Don Yelton, who is an at-large member of the executive committee. Yelton supported Harris’ opponent, Chad Nesbitt, in the March 10 election that Harris won. Since that time, Yelton, Nesbitt, Harris and others have sparred over such matters as a Web post in which Harris, according to Yelton, made remarks that were “condescending” to WNC natives. Yelton predicts that Nesbitt stands no chance gaining the chairmanship by appointment.
Meanwhile, Mills says he will appoint a temporary replacement chair at a special meeting of the executive committee (which includes precinct chairs, area coordinators and officers of the BCRP) on Monday, June 4. The appointee must be confirmed by the committee, and will serve until next year’s county convention, when party members will vote in a new chair. Mills says he does not know yet to whom he’ll give the nod, but that there is more than one person interested in the appointment. Mills says he’s hoping to appoint “somebody that can bring the party together [and] get ‘em all moving in the same direction. I think it’s doable.”
The special executive meeting, which is not open to the public, takes place at 7:30 p.m. in Ferguson Auditorium at A-B Tech.
— Nelda Holder, news and opinion editor