Chad Nesbitt, a longtime conservative activist and one of the founders of the controversial Carolina Stompers group, will now head the Buncombe County Republican party, after winning the chair’s seat at today’s convention.
According to an announcement from the Buncombe County GOP, Nesbitt, who has “major fundraising and organizational goals,” was elected the party’s chair. Nesbitt’s been a prominent figure in local conservative politics for some time, and the Carolina Stompers political group he helped found has attracted no small amount of controversy with its aggressive tactics and tone.
The chair’s seat for the local Republican party has also sometimes been a contentious spot. After two chairs resigned or refused to run for re-election in as many years, Tim Johnson took the position in 2008. Johnson himself then faced a fractious battle over his past when he ran successfully for Vice Chair of the state party. The first African-American to occupy a leadership role in the state party, Johnson then resigned his local spot to move to Durham and concentrate on statewide activities. Nesbitt and the Stompers were vocal supporters of Johnson in his fights with other Republicans.
Robert Malt, Johnson’s successor, has generally kept a lower profile, focusing more on organizational matters. The GOP announcement of Nesbitt’s election notes that Malt will “continue coordinating volunteer training efforts for our voter database tools” and thanks him for his efforts. “Robert is leaving the party with many more precinct chairs, new volunteers in key positions, a full slate of Republican candidates for the 2010 election, and thousands of dollars in the bank account.”
Video taken by Richard Bernier of Nesbitt’s pre-vote speech to the convention is below.
— David Forbes, staff writer