North Carolina Republican Party fire chairman, hire new one

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP/WNCT) — The North Carolina Republican Party fired their chairman, Hasan Harnett, Saturday after at least two-thirds of the executive committee found he had violated state party rules.

Around 70 percent of voting members found that Harnett had violated state party policies, and had committed at least one act of “gross inefficiency.”

After the firing, party members elected former Congressman Robin Hayes to lead the party through the 2016 elections. Hayes was first elected chair in 2011 and will take over immediately.

“I am honored and humbled that grassroots Republicans have granted me the opportunity to once again lead our Party,” said Hayes. “Together we’ll foster unity in our party and win in November. I am looking forward to a successful State Convention next weekend, where we’ll finish selecting a strong delegation to help elect our next President at the Republican National Convention.”

Harnett had been elected chairman last June. The party’s board of directors censured Harnett in March, stating he overstepped his authority. Party leaders also accused Harnett of trying to interfere with the party’s computer system.

As WNCT first reported, Harnett was contacted by a Pitt Community College professor, who initially said he could hack into the website to give Harnett access.

Harnett is the state’s first black Republican chairman, elected with the help of tea party activists. Harnett told WNCT he’s the target of a witch hunt by the party’s establishment wing, who have been seeking a way to get him out of his position.

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