Claude E. Pope Jr., a Brunswick County businessman and former Wake County Party chairman, announced his candidacy for state GOP Party chairman on Wednesday.
Pope, 52, hopes to succeed former Congressman Robin Hayes, when the state Republican convention meets in Charlotte June 7-9. Hayes announced earlier this week that he would not seek a second full term.
“I want to provide strong support for county parties,” Pope said in a statement. “Coming from that background, I know there are ways the county organizations can make a huge difference in how their local governments are run.''
He also said he intends to work closely with Gov. Pat McCrory, the legislature and other Republican office holders if elected.
Traditionally, governors have a large say in the selection in choosing the party chairman. McCrory has not voiced his preference, although Pope has close ties to McCrory and to key McCrory advisors such as Jack Hawke and budget director Art Pope.