Gaston GOP leader insults former candidates



January 12, 2012

Gaston GOP leader insults former candidates

A member of U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry’s 2010 steering committee and the current chairman of the Gaston County Republican Party has questioned the “values” of the congressman’s former opponents.

Craig Collins, a Gastonia attorney and long-time friend and political ally of McHenry, made the comments in an online discussion Wednesday night with Ken Fortenberry, the congressman’s opponent in May’s Republican primary.

“The idea that we would be better by blindly voting out all incumbents is extremely dangerous. Also, blindly assuming their challengers are any better is never a good idea,” stated Collins.

“Over the years I have seen some of the challenger to our two Reps (McHenry and Myrick), and I am grateful we have reelected Reps. McHenry and Myrick. They have stood up for NC values quite well. Their opponents generally did not match up with the values of western NC,” Collins stated. He also stated that Fortenberry was living in a “fantasy world”

“Mr. Collins was not only insulting and disrespectful of the former candidates, he was also flat-out wrong.  I believe the values of fine people like former Catawba County Sheriff David Huffman, Burke County businessman Vance Patterson and retired Air Force colonel Lance Sigmon of Newton stack up pretty well with the people of western North Carolina.  I would welcome a discussion of Mr. McHenry’s values at any time, and think the citizens would be shocked to learn that, in fact, the congressman’s values are NOT their values at all,” stated Fortenberry.

Fortenberry also questioned why the chairman of the Gaston County Republican Party was injecting himself into the primary and clearly taking sides.

“Both the chairman and the vice chairman in Gaston County are loyal McHenry supporters, and the vice-chairman is on the congressman’s paid staff,” stated Fortenberry. “This is why regular folks are fed up with politics, and politicians in general,” he said. “It’s time to clean House in 2012.”

The complete online exchange: can be read here:


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