Raleigh, N.C. — Seven former North Carolina Republican Party chairmen are calling for the ouster of current GOP Chairman Hasan Harnett, who has been embroiled in a battle with other party leaders.
"We are disappointed and even appalled at the actions of current NCGOP Chairman Hasan Harnett," reads a letter from the former party leaders to the state executive committee, a group of hundreds of party officials that makes broad policy decisions for the party.
That letter is signed by past chairmen Jim Hastings, Bill Cobey, Jane Rouse, Tom Fetzer, Robin Hayes, Claude Pope and Ferrell Blount.
The state party executive committee is due to meet in Raleigh on Saturday to consider removing Harnett from his position. If the committee decides to remove Harnett, it is expected to pick a new chairman to lead the state GOP through the 2016 election.
Although intra-party squabbles are nothing new, the spectacle of a party removing its leader in the middle of contentious election is relatively rare. The letter from the former party chairmen appears designed to rally the party's grassroots leaders to action.
"He has demonstrated time and time again that he is not capable of being chairman," the letter from the former chairmen continued. "We as former chairmen respectfully and sincerely ask to vote to remove Hasan Harnett as chairman on the NC Republican Party."
Harnett has already been censured by the party's central committee and barred from the party headquarters. That spat has centered on the party's finances, fees for the state convention and whether the party's traditional leaders are taking direction from the grassroots activists.