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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with James E. Holshouser Jr., June 4, 1998. Interview C-0328-4. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Factionalism and inexperience in the North Carolina Republican Party

Factionalism and inexperience may account for North Carolina Republicans' difficulty selecting state party chairmen, Holshouser explains.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with James E. Holshouser Jr., June 4, 1998. Interview C-0328-4. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

JACK FLEER:
You mentioned that you had a sort of a well publicized row over the selection of the party chair and some of that has happened with subsequent or the subsequent Republican governor. Would you talk a bit about why it appears, I don't know whether this is perception on my part, it appears that Republican governors have had more difficulty in securing chairmen that they want without challenge.
JAMES E. HOLSHOUSER, JR.:
I think we are new at it. Democrats have had governors for years, well decades and decades and have gotten use to over time. Maybe it is sort of grown up. I have not done enough research to really know, that the state chairman is just selected by the governor. It is certainly still the case with the Democrats. Republicans have been selecting their state chairmen without anybody being able to tell you what to do forever in my lifetime. It is just something that there wasn't any tradition there. I don't think governors got turned down on their choices of state chairmen on our side but it has not been without a fight.
JACK FLEER:
Does it have anything to do with factions and the difficulty to overcoming factional differences within the Republican Party?
JAMES E. HOLSHOUSER, JR.:
I think that is a part of it and that goes right down to the county level because you have factions in every county just about. In some cases I have probably said this to you before, if Joe Jones is for you in this county you can be sure that Joe Smith is going to be against you, not because he doesn't know anything about you or doesn't like you. He is just not going to be with Joe Jones. They are always on opposite sides. Maybe that is just the nature of how politics is. That is getting a little bit less clear these days as television is able to sort of bypass the organization posts and go directly to the voters even in the primaries.