Mitchell elected to second term as local GOP chair

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

About Jake Frankel
Jake Frankel is an award-winning journalist who enjoys covering a wide range of topics, from politics and government to business, education and entertainment.

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.