- Associated Press - Saturday, May 7, 2016

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) - The Latest on activity Saturday at the North Carolina Republican Party convention in Greensboro (all times local):


8:25 p.m.

A state legislator has been elected to represent North Carolina on the Republican National Committee for the next four years.

Rep. Mark Brody of Union County defeated Greg Gebhardt of Harnett County at Saturday’s Republican Party convention to become RNC committeeman for the state. He received 55 votes more than Gebhardt out of more than 800 cast before Gebhardt asked that Brody be elected by acclimation.

Gebhardt has worked for Rep. David Lewis, who decided not to seek re-election as an RNC member. Brody is a favorite of the tea party movement.

Another tea party activist nearly defeated incumbent RNC Committeewoman Ada Fisher of Salisbury, who won by just three votes over Miriam Chu of Moore County. Chu is chairwoman of Moore TEA Citizens. Fisher is a physician first elected to the RNC post in 2008. The final vote was 329-326 in favor of Fisher.


8 p.m.

The recently ousted North Carolina Republican Party chairman says he was duly elected to serve the state GOP but was wrongly pushed out in a trial-like hearing he was unable to attend.

Hasan Harnett of Harrisburg attended the state party convention in Greensboro on Saturday, a week after the party’s Executive Committee voted to remove him. He was removed from the job based on accusations that he had exceeded his authority and tried to damage the party’s computer system.

Harnett said they’re not true and has blamed leaders of the party establishment for pushing him out and holding the meeting when they knew he would be out of the country. Party leaders - including successor Robin Hayes - have defended the committee’s conduct.

Harnett asked from the convention floor Saturday for more information about the charges lodged against him and what went on in the closed-door Executive Committee meeting. He didn’t immediately receive it.


3:30 p.m.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory says fall Democratic gubernatorial rival Roy Cooper is a “very liberal full-time politician” who’s been shirking his responsibilities as attorney general by failing to help defend the state against President Barack Obama administration’s policies.

McCrory blasted Cooper while addressing about 1,000 delegates at the state Republican Party Convention on Saturday in Greensboro and accepting his party’s nomination for governor.

The governor also criticized Cooper for Cooper’s decision not to defend a new law that in part requires transgender people to use restrooms and locker rooms at schools, universities and public agencies that align with their biological sex. The U.S. Department of Justice last week wrote McCrory telling him the law violates federal civil rights laws. Cooper has said the law is discriminatory, particularly for limiting LGBT protections.

McCrory also touted his record as governor for helping create jobs and promoting government efficiency.


1 p.m.

Top North Carolina elected leaders are urging fellow Republicans to unify following a contentious presidential primary and the recent removal of the state party’s chairman.

U.S. Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis addressed the state party’s convention Saturday in Greensboro, asking more than 900 delegates and hundreds of additional guests to get behind presumptive nominee Donald Trump to prevent Democrat Hillary Clinton from becoming president.

Burr told party activists getting behind Trump is essential. Burr faces his own re-election campaign this fall and would benefit from top-of-the-ballot support for Trump.

Tillis originally endorsed Marco Rubio.

State party activists are meeting a week after a party body voted to throw out Chairman Hasan Harnett.

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