MOREHEAD CITY — The County GOP Headquarters opened Saturday afternoon with a strong turnout from candidates and the public alike.
The building space, located at 5370 Highway 70 West, across from Kurtis Chevrolet, was filled with red, white and blue, along with numerous campaign signs and posters for the grand opening. Several candidates were present from the local, state and national level.
“This is the unofficial kickoff to the campaign,” said Greg Lewis, County Republican Party chairman, referring to the Nov. 6 election. “There are still 100 days left, which feels far off, but it is good to see the excitement of the people already today as we start.”
Mr. Lewis said it was good to see the healthy turnout of people asking questions of the various local and state candidates there. He noted that the county is made up primarily of Republican voters, followed by those registered as Independent, then Democrats.
Congressman Walter B. Jones, R-N.C., who represents the 3rd District for the state, which includes Carteret County, is seeking his 10th term in Congress. He said his region has been recently expanded, and now holds about 22 counties in the state.
“This is a great turnout, and a lot of excitement,” said Rep. Jones. He acknowledged that most of the public is currently frustrated with the government on the state and national level. “We need to let the people know we share their frustrations,” said Rep. Jones. “But we also need to show them we can hold a solution.”
Mike Causey, candidate for N.C. Insurance Commissioner, was also thrilled with the crowd that came.
“I’m really pleased about the excitement and enthusiasm across the state shown here,” said Mr. Causey. He said that across North Carolina, the public has concerns about insurance and insurance problems, especially in this section, regarding coastal insurance. He said he feels his 30 years of experience makes him the best candidate for the position and he will be able to help the people with their worries.
Linda Schriever is in her second year of being president of the Crystal Coast Republican Women club. She thought it was “fantastic” to see the crowd of people milling around talking with the numerous candidates.
She said the club has 68 members currently, with 14 associate members. Ms. Schriever said at their monthly meetings, they try to have a guest speaker come, and noted that Rep. Norm Sanderson, R-Pamlico, would be speaking at their August meeting. Rep. Sanderson is running for the State Senate seat that includes this county.
“I think it is great to walk into a room where everyone thinks the same as you,” Rep. Sanderson said, in regards to the turnout. He said he was pleased to win in the primary election, where he defeated fellow Republicans Randy Ramsey and Ken Jones, especially by the large margin he did. He said he spent 75-percent of campaigning time in Carteret, the home county of the other two Republicans.
“We have the best slate of candidates in this state this year,” said Rep. Sanderson. “All strong, all focused and all know what needs to be done.”
The GOP Headquarters opened earlier this year than it did two years prior, when the doors opened in September. The “victory center” is poised to accept questions concerning candidates. The number for the headquarters is 222-0466.