The Scotland County Republican Party selected a new chairman and heard from U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson’s top staffer during its annual convention this week.
Some 25 members of the party attended on Monday, most of whom were named as delegates to the GOP’s District 8 convention in Albemarle in April and statewide convention in Charlotte in June.
Scotland County GOP member Mark Schenck was elected Party chairman.Schenck said he hopes to increase the group’s visibility and utilization of social communication.
“I think if people know what’s going on, they feel more like they’re part of the party,” Schenck said. “I’d like to build up the active membership, one thing we really need to work on is getting some younger folks in here.”
Charles Brown will remain in the vice-chairman’s seat. Linda Simmons will serve as secretary with Sue Imbaratto as treasurer.
Bill Owens, who has served as chairman of the Scotland County GOP for two years, stepped down from the position . Owens said that the local Republican party is “stable and healthy,” although few Republicans are ever elected to local office.
“We need to continue to keep up the good fight and continue to support GOP candidates and the county, state, and national levels, and I think we did a good job of that this past election,” Owens said. “The fight is not over and we will never give up when it comes to fighting for our principles.”
Owens will remain on executive committee with John Carpenter and Bonnie Schenck.
Chris Carter, district director and deputy chief of staff for District 8 Congressman Richard Hudson, spoke to the group about Hudson’s work so far in office. Hudson is a member of the congressional Education and Workforce Committee, and is a co-sponsor of the Skills Act that recently passed through the House of Representatives.
The Skills Act facilitates access to federal job training programs for state agencies and colleges.
“What the Skills Act does, if we can get the Democratic Senate to take it up and pass it, it takes those 40 plus jobs programs and puts them under one umbrella so that there’s communication between the programs and they are much easier to access for both employees who are looking for job training and for colleges, community colleges, and universities to be able to access those funds to help folks,” said Carter.
Carter also spoke about the series of continuing resolutions passed by the House and Senate in lieu of budgets, calling them a triumph for conservatives.
“Conservatives scored a huge victory with the continuing resolution that prevented a government shutdown this year,” Carter said. “It also achieved historic spending cuts. One of the things Congressman Hudson talked about is that he wanted to see spending levels taken down to at least 2008 levels, and that’s what the continuing resolution did: it set in place 2008 spending levels for the rest of this year.”
Hudson is also in the process of opening a new constituent services office in Rockingham in order to assist District 8 residents with bureaucratic issues. He will also hold mobile office hours in Scotland County every two weeks.
Hudson himself will appear in Laurinburg next week, touring Richmond Community College’s local campus. He will also be the featured speaker at the Scotland County Republican Party’s annual Lincoln-Reagan Dinner next week at the Deercroft clubhouse.