In May the North Carolina Republican Party will be holding its state convention in Greeneville and will choose new members for both of North Carolina’s seats on the Republican National Committee. The state has two seats on the committee with one seat to be allocated to a woman, and the other to a man. Currently, the seats are held by Rep. Mark Brody and Ada Fisher, but neither of them will be seeking re-election in May. For the men’s seat, Ed Broyhill has announced his intention to run and Rion Choate is rumored to run for the seat as well. Kyshia Lineberger and Kim Cotten-West have declared for the women’s seat.
Ed Broyhill, son of former congressman and U.S. Senator James T. Broyhill, is also a long time political donor and activist. Broyhill is running in tandem with Kyshia Lineberger, with each candidate endorsing and supporting the other. Like Choate, Broyhill has developed relationships with politicians and activists throughout the state and the country at large. Those connections will likely help him in a race that will be decided by the most active members of the Republican Party. That said, his political connectedness may end up being costly as well; in 2018 Broyhill posted an older photo of himself with former Vice President Joe Biden. If by May Biden looks like the presumptive nominee for the Democratic Party, then the photo could turn into problem for Broyhill when facing a room full of Republican delegates. If, however, Biden’s campaign has faded away by then the photo may be a non-issue.
Choate, understandably currently the only candidate without a web presence for his campaign, is an investment banker who has been donating to Republican campaigns since the 1980s and is a long time supporter of President Trump. As a delegate to the 2016 Republican National Convention, and as someone who had done business in the Middle East, Choate was put in a position of answering for some of Trump’s statements about Islam during an interview with the Charlotte Observer. The interview can be seen here.
Through his fundraising and activism, Choate has developed connections throughout the Republican party. This is not the first time he has pursued a political seat, in 2018 he attempted to gain an appointment as an ambassador in the Middle East.
Broyhill has been running on his experience and working knowledge of the party and how it functions. Like Choate, he has been giving to Republican candidates since the 1980s, though Choate has tended to give to more conservative candidates. In the 2008 election cycle, Choate gave to Fred Thompson’s presidential campaign while Broyhill gave to Mitt Romney in the primary. In the 2016 election, Broyhill gave to Carly Fiorina’s presidential campaign while Choate is not recorded as having given to any presidential candidate during that election cycle.
Kyshia Lineberger is a long time Republican activist and previously served as treasurer for the 9th District Republican Party. Lineberger has been running since May of 2019 and has received endorsements from nine current district party chairs as well as current committeeman Mark Brody and NC House Speaker Tim Moore. Lineberger and Cotten-West are similar in that almost all of their donations appearing within FEC reports were given to party organizations rather than to candidates. The only exception being three donations Lineberger made to the congressional campaign of Mark Harris in the 9th district.
Kim Cotten-West, another long time activist, has served as a trainer for the party’s data center and is currently Vice-Chair of the Washington County GOP. Cotten-West’s family has a history with the party as her mother, Joyce Cotten, previously served as chair of the 2nd District Republican Party. Cotten-West, who announced her campaign on January 20th of this year, has the support of a former President of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Republican Women club as well as State Rep. Ed Goodwin.