Chairman Extends Olive Branch Yet Again – Cumbie Rebuffs

Note: Readers who are privy to the email from the Chairman on April 19, and the email from Scott Cumbie allegedly on behalf of the NCGOP Central Committee on the same day, are encourged to read the commentary following both emails as presented here in their entirety.

The following message was sent by Chairman Harnett to the NCGOP Central Committee Tuesday morning April 19:

Dear Members of the NCGOP Central Committee;

Like many of you, I have grown weary of wrangling over our differing interpretations of the state Plan of Organization and our diverging views on the role of the State Party Chairman.

We are well past the point of intellectual discourse and now approaching the point where irreparable damage could be done to our party’s competitiveness in this pivotal Presidential election year.

We simply must unite before the NCGOP May Convention and put forth a collaborative effort to motivate and inspire all Republicans to support our candidates this fall.

We must work collectively to raise the funds needed to keep the party apparatus fully operational.  And we must resolve to set aside our differences to give every state and local candidate the very best support we can this summer and fall.

I am returning the revised draft of the reconciliation document that was discussed on April 12th, 2016 with a few suggested clarifications and a couple of additional actions we both need to take.  I pray you will give favorable consideration to these suggestions and immediately signal your support so we can move forward together.

Have a blessed day.

With warm regards,

Hasan Harnett

Edit: As originally published, this article omitted an attachment to the Chairman’s email message above that detailed proposed actions for those on both sides of the dispute. We apologize for the oversight. The attachment can be downloaded at this link.


And then just after 6 PM the same day, Scott Cumbie responded with the following message to NCGOP Executive Committee members:

Dear Executive Committee,

It is with great regret that we must inform you that the email you received today from Chairman Harnett is patently false.

We are not currently discussing any proposals with Chairman Harnett. Over 200 members of the Executive Committee have signed petitions accusing the Chairman of gross inefficiency and major violations of the plan of organisation. These are serious charges that must and will be heard on April 30th by the Executive Committee.

Several weeks of outreach to resolve these matters were met with silence by the Chairman. He declined to participate in three recent Central Committee meetings.

In the first sentence of his email, he states:

“After many weeks of intensive debate and deliberation on the appropriate roles and responsibilities of the Party Chairman and Central Committee, and after a number of unfortunate allegations of illegal behavior by both parties, I am pleased to report the members of the NCGOP Central Committee and I are in the final stages of consummating a reconciliation document.”

At the urging of 4 District Chairmen who met unofficially with Chairman Harnett on April 10th, Chairman Harnett agreed to meet informally with members of the Central Committee. With less than 12 hours notice, approximately 30 members of the Central Committee from all over the state, met with the Chairman on Tuesday evening, April 12th. This was the first and only meeting that the Chairman has had with the Central Committee or any representative of the Central Committee since Feb 28th (over 7 weeks).

The meeting was not productive. Chairman Harnett offered no explanation for violating our party rules or attacking Republicans in the press. He offered no plans to move forward and improve relations with the Central Committee members, elected officials, donors and Party staff. He did not hold himself accountable for his actions.

We are not clear with whom he has had “many weeks of intensive debate and deliberation;” it has certainly not been the Central Committee or anyone acting on behalf of the Central Committee. We are stunned that the Chairman would make a statement like this that is so easily refuted. Many individuals have tried to have productive deliberations with him, but he has rebuffed, refused, and avoided discussions to address these matters.

He has failed time and time again to address the serious allegations against him.

The document that the Chairman attached to the email was a proposal from a 3rd party to be used as a starting point for working towards a resolution. There was no discussion on the items in this document with the Central Committee as a body and there has been no agreement with anyone acting on behalf of the Central Committee. The Chairman rejected all offers that were proposed to him at the April 12th meeting, including discussing the items in the document he references. By releasing this document publicly and stating that we are “in the final stages,” the Chairman is demonstrating that he is unwilling to act in good faith.

We are also shocked that the Chairman released a video today attacking the Central Committee, several of our former NCGOP Chairmen, Republican elected officials and the NCGOP staff. It is unclear how the Chairman can be serious about any resolution while he continues to publicly fight against the Republican Party.

We do not see a path forward with Chairman Harnett. We fully expect there to be a vote for the removal of Chairman Harnett on April 30th. It is the only path forward we see for the North Carolina Republican Party.

Please make every effort to be at the April 30th Executive Committee meeting (McKimmon Center, 1101 Gorman St, Raleigh, NC at 10:00 AM).


Scott Cumbie, NCGOP Assistant Secretary, speaking for the vast majority of the Central Committee including but not limited to:

Garry Terry, 1st District Chair
Joyce Cotten, 2nd District Chair
Kim Cotten-West, 3rd District Chair
Matthew Arnold, 4th District Chair
Kevin Austin, 5th District Chair
Don Webb, 6th District Chair
Helen Pannullo, 7th District Chair
Kelsey Brown, 8th District Chair
John Steward, 9th District Chair
Ted Alexander, 10th District Chair
David Sawyer, 11th District Chair
Zan Bunn, 13th District Chair

Now we at are not privy to the thoughts of all the Executive Committee members.  However, we have spoken with one who did not sign the petition to remove the Chairman for “gross inefficiency and major violations of the plan of organization”, but signed it to see the charges against the Chairman get a fair and open hearing, as the NCGOP Plan of Organization requires.

Further, Cumbie alleges that the video released today (and then made unavailable at the Chairman’s request in the interest of possible reconciliation) attacked “several of our former NCGOP Chairmen”.  Viewers of the video (which we expect to make available again soon – Editor) know that no one was attacked, they were simply used as objects of comparison for the performance of the Chairman.

Readers might also notice that while Cumbie complains that the Chairman “offered no explanation for violating our party rules or attacking Republicans in the press”, Cumbie offers no explanation for his actions or those of the Central Committee doing exactly the same thing.




1 thought on “Chairman Extends Olive Branch Yet Again – Cumbie Rebuffs”

  1. Well, Kevin Austin needs to go. It’s funny how the 5th District just had our Convention and we were fully planning on electing a District Chair only to find out that the CC elected one for us. Of course they would only elect one who is also against Hasan. Imagine that!

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