RALEIGH, N.C. -- The North Carolina Republican Party has elected its first black chairman in an upset victory over the candidate backed by Gov. Pat McCrory and other top leaders in the GOP establishment.
Hasan Harnett of Cabarrus County won Saturday's vote of Republican activists over Craig Collins of Gastonia. No vote was announced. The roll call showed Harnett receiving 700 votes to 562 for Collins before Collins called on the convention to elect Harnett.
Collins had been endorsed by McCrory, U.S. Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis and the top leaders at the General Assembly.
Harnett was a campaign manager for a 2014 congressional candidate and has served as minority outreach director for the state Republican Party.
Saturday, Governor Pat McCrory released this statement to WFMY News 2: "I just called Hasan Harnett to congratulate him on being elected chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party, and I look forward to working with him to grow our party and bring it to new heights."