“I worked on it about a year and a half before we got it to happen,” said Ralph Slaughter, chairman of the Jackson County Republican Party.
Slaughter is expecting to see up to 1,600 attendees venture to Western North Carolina for the convention. They’ll have committee meetings and general sessions. They’ll have dinner with former U.S. Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert.
“Looking forward to it, obviously,” said Slaughter.
The state party convention requires a place that offers a certain amount of accommodations. The convention requires meeting facilities and hotel capacity. A limited number of locales around the state offer these prerequisites.
Back in September, when the dates were announced, N. C. Republican Party Chairman Claude Pope called Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Hotel “one of the few places in the state that can handle” the party’s annual get-together
“We ended up making the top of the list,” said Chief Michell Hicks, head of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians. “It’s gonna be a great weekend.”
Hicks said that he looks forward to welcoming convention attendees to Cherokee. He’s hoping that during their visit lawmakers gain a deeper appreciation for the region.
“To make sure that Western North Carolina gets more attention from Raleigh,” Hicks said.
According to Todd Poole, executive director of the state’s Republican party, the weekend will include a slate of speakers. Among them will be U.S. Senate-nominee Thom Tillis, who will deliver his acceptance speech.
The conference will also be an opportunity for the party to map out its future.
“The main business of the weekend will be to approve the NCGOP Platform, consider changes to the Plan of Organization, and pass resolutions,” Poole wrote in a statement.