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Bill Daughtridge, a North Carolina Representative from Rocky Mount, gave the keynote address at the Brunswick County Republican convention last Saturday.
Daughtridge is the Republican candidate for treasurer of North Carolina. Since he is unopposed in the May 6 primary, he will compete in November's election to fill the treasurer's position being vacated by Democrat Richard Moore.
As the convention was being called to order by Brunswick County Chairman Frank Iler, a straw poll for governor was taken among Brunswick County Republicans present.
Of the four candidates on the Republican ballot for the May primary, 89 percent preferred Fred Smith, N.C. senator from Johnston County, who also has close ties to Brunswick County.
Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory and Judge Robert Orr received five-percent and Bill Graham of Salisbury garnered one-percent of the vote.
More than 15 candidates were present to speak for candidacies for governor, supreme court, court of appeals, county commission, school board, register of deeds, etc.
Two legislative candidates are unopposed in the primary: N.C. Representative Bonner Stiller of Brunswick County, who is running for another term; and N.C. Senate candidate Bettie Fennell of Pender County, who is challenging the incumbent R.C. Soles.
Candidate for Congress, Will Breazeale of White Lake, who has no primary opposition, spoke to the convention about his campaign against incumbent Mike McIntyre. An Army National Guard Major, he has been activated for three tours of duty in Iraq and spoke about his support for the fair tax and a desire to replace McIntyre, who votes with Nancy Pelosi.
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Dole, who visited Brunswick County two weeks earlier, had her county coordinator, School Board Chair Shirley Babson, speaking on her behalf.
Marty Cooke of Shallotte and Ocean Isle Beach spoke for Robert Pittenger, a candidate for Lt. Governor.
All the candidates received enthusiastic reactions from the crowd.
The convention elected 60 delegates from Brunswick County to the N.C. GOP state convention in Greensboro June 6-8, as well as to the 7th District convention at the Brunswick County headquarters on April 5.