First-time delegates reflect GOP's shift

Posted July 18

— North Carolina's delegation to the Republican National Convention in some ways mirrors the party's political shift.

About half of the state's 72 delegates are at their first convention, which is expected to include the first nomination of a non-politician by a major party since the 1950s when the roll call is finished and votes are tallied Tuesday.

"One thing I'm looking forward to is casting my ballot to make Donald Trump our nominee for the Republican presidential ticket," said Michele Nix of Kinston, the state party's vice chairwoman and one of the first-timers. "If you're looking the people who are running the party right now, it's people like me. I'm not an establishment candidate, I mean I'm not establishment. I actually think more outside the box, and more people like me are being involved in our party's process."

Nick Vaughn, 21, of Greensboro, is also new to the process. While not in the front of the Trump bandwagon, he wants his party in the White House.

"Donald was not my first choice," Vaughn said. "I'm frustrated. I'm not completely happy with the platform in every aspect, but I'm a Republican and we've got to come together and we've got to unify."

Dr. Ada Fisher of Salisbury is attending her fifth GOP convention.

"I was anti-establishment before anti-establishment was cool," said Fisher, a national committeewoman who called this year "unpredictable."

Fisher said she backs Trump, no matter his controversial comments.

"People are just trying to 'Ssshhh, don't say those kinds of things.' But he's saying it, we're believing it and we're going to vote for him for president," she said.

Because North Carolina awards delegates proportionally based on each candidate's showing in the primary, not all of the state's delegation will be backing Trump when the nominating process takes place Tuesday, however.


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