The Surry County Republican Party has picked who will lead the party in 2017, and the GOP also recognized two long-time party members for their support throughout the years.
A man who has been a registered voter in Surry County for a little more than a year will lead the party, succeeding Dan Kiger as party chair.
On March 25 all registered Republican voters in the county were invited to attend the Surry County Republican Convention.
At the annual event, members of the party appoint precinct chairs to represent the party in each of the county’s 29 precincts. Those individuals comprise the party’s executive committee.
Those present at the convention also choose the party’s leadership for the year following, and new people were elected to fill each of the four officer positions.
Mark D. Jones was elected chairman of the party, according to a press release from the Surry GOP.
Jones has a long history of voting Republican in primary elections, according to N.C. Board of Elections records. However, he has been registered to vote in Surry County only since Dec. 30, 2015. Prior to that, he was registered to vote in Craven County.
According to those who attended the convention, Jones won out in a three-way race with former county commissioner candidate Van Cooke and Walter Harris.
Gayle Norman, a registered Republican since 2006, according to Board of Elections records, was elected vice chair.
Wanda Stanley, who turned from a Democrat in the 2010 election cycle, will serve as secretary of the party, and Charlie Askins, who has voted only in GOP primaries since he registered to vote in North Carolina in 2006, was elected as party treasurer.
Rawley King registered to vote in Surry County in 1968, according to voter records. The Mount Airy resident and Korean War-era Army veteran has never wavered in his support for the Republican Party.
King was named the party’s 2017 Man of the Year, according to the written statement provided by the party.
“He has been one of the most active members in fundraising events,” explained party officials. “The local party had one of its best fundraising years in its history. Mr. King’s efforts and knowledge of the republican base played an integral part in those efforts.”
Zoe Claxton, another life-long Republican, according to voting records, was named the party’s Woman of the Year.
“Zoe’s efforts in 2016 to help organize our Republican Party headquarters were an extremely important part of the success of Republican candidates in Surry County,” stated the media release.
“Mrs. Claxton aided the preparing of a volunteer schedule and helped organize volunteers which allowed our party headquarters to remain open every day during the election season. She also coordinated and help organize fundraising efforts at the party headquarters.”
Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.