Speakers at the state Republican convention

Posted May 4, 2013

— The North Carolina Republican Party will hold its annual convention at the Charlotte Convention Center June 7-9. The party has been rolling out a lineup of high profile guest speakers over the last two weeks. Among them:

J.C. Watts

Former Congressman J.C. Watts, Jr. will be a special guest at the Governor’s Reception on Friday evening June 7. From a news release: 

Watts is a Republican from Oklahoma who was a college football quarterback for the Oklahoma Sooners and professionally in the Canadian Football League. Watts served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 through 2002 as a Republican, representing the 4th congressional district in south-central Oklahoma. After leaving Congress he established a lobbying and consulting firm, served on corporate boards, and worked as a political commentator.

Watts became a Baptist minister and was elected in 1990 to the Oklahoma Corporation Commission as the first African American in Oklahoma to win statewide office. He successfully ran for Congress in 1994 and was reelected to three additional terms with increasing vote margins. Watts delivered the Republican response to Bill Clinton's 1997 State of the Union address and was elected Chair of the House Republican Conference in 1998.

“We are incredibly pleased to have J.C. Watts join us as a special guest and speaker at our 2013 convention. J.C. is not only a visionary and a bold advocate for conservative principles, but he is also a man of great humility and integrity” said NCGOP Chairman Robin Hayes. “We couldn’t be more excited to have him as a guest in the Tarheel State and look forward to hearing his vision for making our party, state, and nation stronger and better."

Scott Brown

Former U.S. Sen. Scott P. Brown will be a special guest at the Governor’s Reception on Friday June 7, and will join former congressman JC Watts at the event. From a news release: 

Senator Scott P. Brown, of MA served in the Massachusetts Legislature as a State Representative for 3 terms and the State Senate for 5 years. After the passing of the late Senator Ted Kennedy, Senator Brown won a special election to complete the 3 years left on that term. During his time in the U.S. Senate, Senator Brown was a ranking member on the Armed Services Committee, as well as the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, and was a member of the Veteran’s Committee and the Committee on Small Business.

In addition to his legislative experience, Sen. Brown is also a Colonel in the Army and presently serves as the Deputy to the Chief Counsel to the Chief of the National Guard Bureau and serves in the Pentagon. Senator Brown is an active contributor for FOX National News and is a New York Times bestselling author with his book Against All Odds reaching #4 on the NYT bestselling list.

Senator Brown is married to his wife Gail, a reporter at WJLA in DC and they have 2 daughters, Ayla, a successful singer/songwriter and finalist on American Idol Season 5 and Arianna, who works in DC at the Humane Society and is applying to Vet school.

Karl Rove 

Karl Rove will be a special guest at the Saturday Banquet Dinner on Saturday June 8 at the Westin Charlotte Hotel.From a news release: 

A Colorado native, he attended the University of Utah, the University of Maryland-College Park, George Mason University, and the University of Texas at Austin. Rove served as Senior Advisor to President George W. Bush from 2000–2007 and Deputy Chief of Staff from 2004–2007. At the White House he oversaw the Offices of Strategic Initiatives, Political Affairs, Public Liaison, and Intergovernmental Affairs and was Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy, coordinating the White House policy-making process.

Before Karl became known as “The Architect” of President Bush’s 2000 and 2004 campaigns, he was president of Karl Rove + Company, an Austin-based public affairs firm that worked for Republican candidates, non-partisan causes, and non-profit groups. His clients included over 75 Republican U.S. Senate, Congressional, and gubernatorial candidates in 24 states, as well as the Moderate Party of Sweden. Karl is a Fox News contributor, writes a weekly op-ed for the Wall Street Journal and is the author of the New York Times Bestseller, "Courage and Consequence: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight." He has written for various publications, including The Financial Times, Forbes,, Newsweek, The Washington Post, and The Weekly Standard.

Chairman Robin Hayes of the North Carolina Republican Party issued the following statement:

“We are very excited to have Karl Rove join us as a special guest and speaker at our 2013 convention. He knows history, understands the moods of the public, and is a visionary on matters of public policy. We are honored to have him as a guest in North Carolina and look forward to hearing him cast a vision for making our party stronger and better."


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  • baldchip May 6, 2013

    I'm sorry-JC Watt is a wonderful speaker, extrememly conservative, and would make a great VP pick!! Now, we need to find someone to lead the ticket to defeat Hillary in 2016.

    Senator Brown and Carl Rove-you can have them both!!

  • rlsmith5 May 6, 2013

    Too bad they couldn't get any good speakers.

  • Cricket at the lake May 6, 2013

    The NC GOP has Karl Rove as special guest Saturday night?! He is the "architect" of detroying true conservative candidates and promoting the RINO agenda that is tearing the party apart. North Carolina has a Republican Congress and Governor - it is historic - and those running the state party want to bring this devisive man to the convention? This decision reveals a disconnect between the powers that be in the party and the true conservative voters who made the last election such a success in NC. Very disappointing.......