Political notebook: Rowan GOP chair endorses Vick in advance of 2017 convention

Published 12:05 am Saturday, February 18, 2017

By Josh Bergeron 

josh.bergeron@salisburypost.com

Local business owner Don Vick will have the support of the current Rowan County Republican Party chairman if he’s elected to the same position at the local GOP’s March convention.

Chairman Stephen Kidd says the nominating committee made a wise choice when it picked Vick as the best person to serve as future chairman.

“Don has served the GOP faithfully over the past several years,” Kidd said. “Don is a local business owner, family man and past president of Salisbury Kiwanis. I am confident that with Don and the other nominated leaders taking the helm, our party will continue to grow and demand the absolute best from our elected leaders.”

Kidd’s term as local chairman will end as soon as a new person is elected at the county party’s convention on March 4. Kidd’s most recent term as chairman began in 2015. He also served as chairman from 2005 to 2009.

Typically, a nominating committee picks a slate of candidates to serve leadership positions for two years. That slate is then voted on at the county convention. Vick is the nominating committee’s pick for chairman, according to a number of Republicans in Rowan County.

Speaking about this year’s slate of candidates, Kidd said the Rowan County Republican Party has been blessed to have “so many talented individuals step up this year to take on leadership roles.”

If the nominating committee’s slate is approved at the convention, Vick would serve a two-year term. However, an alternative slate of candidates could emerge during the convention, too.

Budd hopes to halt aircraft sale

U.S. Rep. Ted Budd this week introduced a measure that would halt aircraft sales to a foreign country because a local company would be able to produce a cheaper option.

Budd, a Republican who represents the 13th District, hopes to halt the sale of 12 weaponized, border-patrol aircraft to Kenya. A news release from Budd’s office said the sale would reward a $13 billion company that hasn’t produced the aircraft before. Instead, a company based in Mooresville could produce a “more cost-effective option,” he said.

Budd said a company known as L3 Technologies was awarded the contract without competitive bidding.

“My office has received credible allegations of faulty contracting practices, fraud and unfair treatment surrounding this sale,” Budd said in a news release. “Given that this proposed contract was decided without competition, to a company that has no experience or track record producing this kind of aircraft, and for a price that is more than double what a contractor in our district has quoted, further investigation is definitely in order.”

The company Budd believes is better suited to handle the sale is called IOMAX USA. It’s owned by a service-disabled veteran. It is the only company in the world that has exported weaponized border patrol aircraft from the United States, Budd’s office said.

If passed, Budd’s resolution would halt the sale and give Congress time to investigate it further.

Burr weighs in on Flynn’s resignation

North Carolina’s senior senator didn’t have much to say, but Sen. Richard Burr weighed in this week on the resignation of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Flynn resigned Monday as a result of controversy surrounding calls to Russian officials before and after President Donald Trump’s victory in the November election. The White House has said the official reason was that Flynn misled Vice President Donald Trump about the calls.

Burr, who serves as Senate Intelligence Committee chairman, issued a short statement following Flynn’s resignation.

“Mike Flynn served his country with distinction,” Burr said in an emailed statement. “The president needs a national security adviser whom he can trust, and I defer to him to decide who best fills that role.”

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.

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