Truth or Dare has learned that Ashley Woolard and Bill Tarpenning have signed on to manage the campaign of long-time Democrat loyalist Arthur Williams.  Woolard is the former Chair of the Beaufort County Republican Party, a former Republican candidate for Congress and the newly-elected Republican Presidential Elector from North Carolina’s 3rd District.  News of the announcement stunned party members and activists across eastern North Carolina, many of whom voted for Woolard to represent them at the Electoral College in the upcoming Presidential election and who now feel betrayed.

Williams, who served four terms in the General Assembly, was a lifelong Democrat who switched parties in 2011 and is now running as a Republican for the NC-6 House seat.  Williams is up against GOP stalwart Mattie Lawson of Dare County in the race.  Lawson is popular in Republican circles for her steadfast support of conservative values and her dedicated work on behalf of the Republican Party.  Lawson bested Williams and a third challenger, Jeremy Adams, in the primary on May 8th but did not earn enough votes to avoid a runoff.   Lawson and Williams are set to face each other in the July 17th runoff election.

Williams’ party-switch in 2011 angered local Republicans who quickly saw through the charade.  It was clear from the outset that Williams had an agenda and that he was being encouraged by Republican Party leaders in Raleigh to make the switch and run for office, as Truth or Dare reported last fall.  Local activists know Williams’ record as a Democrat party-man who was good at taking orders, who voted in lockstep with the Democrat Party and who earned a Conservative Effectiveness Rating of  “F” as scored by Civitas. Williams never was, and is not now, a conservative by any definition.  Activists here resent the intrusion of party leaders in Raleigh into their local affairs and have pushed back hard against Williams.  They view Williams as a tool of the leadership and someone who will vote the way the leadership tells him to vote, not according to any conservative convictions of his own and not with the best interests of eastern North Carolina in mind.

Over the past two years, Eastern North Carolina Republicans have been hard at work trying to lessen the influence of RINOs in the party from Currituck County all the way down to Carteret County.  Woolard and Tarpenning’s entry into the fray in the NC-6 race, against a dedicated and loyal Republican, has left many activists confused and angry.  One prominent Republican called it ‘one of the worst political decisions I have ever seen anyone make.’   Some are speculating that Woolard, who supported Adams in the primary, is bitter over the loss and will do anything to see that Lawson does not win the seat.  Party members are now questioning Woolard’s judgement.  One wished that he could take back his recent vote for Woolard to be a Presidential Elector, asking,

“How can we trust that our Presidential Elector will vote for our Republican nominee when he has shown such a lapse in judgement?  What’s to stop him from voting for Obama?”