Political notebook: Rowan Republican wants to censure Hudson, run for congress

Published 12:10 am Friday, February 13, 2015

A Rowan County Republican Party Executive Committee member has declared intentions to run for U.S. Congress through social media and challenged the current congressman’s voting record in the form of a formal resolution.

Republican Wes Rhinier organized a Facebook page stating his intentions to run for North Carolina’s 8th Congressional District in late 2014. Rhinier’s first publicly visible post on his candidate page is dated Nov. 8, a few days after the 2014 election.

This week, Rhinier sought to formally pass a resolution through the Rowan Republican Party that would censure U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson, a Republican who currently holds the position Rhinier is seeking.

“Until he consistently champions our party’s platform, we, the Republican leadership in Rowan County, N.C., will no longer support, campaign for or endorse Richard Hudson as our U.S. House Representative,” the resolution reads.

As evidence for a censure, the resolution states that Hudson “has massed a long and terrible record of drafting, co-sponsoring and voting for legislation best associated with liberal Democrats.”

The resolution came up this week during the Rowan Republican Party’s regularly scheduled meeting. The resolution wasn’t placed on the agenda. Minutes from the prior meeting — Jan. 13 — state that Rhinier made a motion to approve his resolution. It was seconded by 2014 Rowan County Commissioner candidate Joe Coladarci, but no formal vote count is recorded on the minutes.

As this week’s meeting drew to a close, Rhinier asked why the resolution wasn’t placed on the agenda. He said it received sufficient votes during a prior meeting.

In response, outgoing party chairman John Leatherman said he is able to set the agenda and chose not to place Rhinier’s resolution up for consideration.

Immediately after, Rhinier question what the purpose of the executive committee’s vote meant, if it wouldn’t allow items to be placed on the agenda.

Rhinier said he’d continue trying to get the resolution passed. He said it would’ve passed if Leatherman had allowed a vote.

The Republican Party as a whole, Rhinier said, needs to take a look at it’s values and platform. Though Republicans are a significant force in North Carolina, Rhinier said his party is losing in society. He referenced the legalization of gay marriage as one example of Republican priorities not suceeding.

Though associated with the local Tea Party, Rhinier and outgoing Rowan Republican Party Vice-Chair Will McCubbins, who supports Rhinier’s resolution, described themselves as constitutional conservatives.

Johnson confirms interest in Salisbury City Council race

A few days after an unsuccessful bid for the chair position of the North Carolina Democratic Party, Constance Johnson announced a run for the Salisbury City Council via Facebook and later confirmed her interest in a phone interview.

Johnson was one of several people that publicly announced intentions to run for the chairman position. Patsy Keever, the former first vice-chair of the state democratic party, won the race by a large margin.

In a lengthy Facebook post two days after the party’s election Johnson said: “Don’t worry. I am not discouraged; I am running for City Council. I won’t stop until God takes my legs to bring forth the great programs and solutions I have traveled around the world to deliver to you.”

When contacted to confirm her interest, Johnson said she plans to meet with her campaign staff to confirm plans for the race.

Johnson has also recently run in last year’s State Senate District 34 race and the Rowan-Salisbury School Board in 2012.

Congresswoman Adams introduces first bill

U.S. Rep. Alma Adams, D-12, on Thursday, teamed up with legislators from Ohio, Wisconsin and Texas to introduce her first bill as a congresswoman.

The bill, which is titled the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Professional Readiness Education Preparation Act, creates a grant program that directs federal funding to career and technical education programs focused on training workers to enter the STEM field.

The act would also prioritize inclusion of fine arts into technical education in science, technology, engineering and math fields.

“Employers are now, more than ever, looking for employees who not only have the technical skills, but possess the creativity necessary to think outside of the box and solve real world problems,” Adams said. “Workforce training and job creation are two of my top priorities, and I am proud that my first piece of legislation reflects those goals.”

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246