On March 26, the Stanly County Republican Party hosted their annual convention. They began with a simple purpose: the elect new officers to take them into the 2018 mid-term elections. However, folks in Stanly County know good and well that politics are not that simple, especially not when you've got the Burr's running around. Many Republicans will tell you that there are three political parties in Stanly: the Democrats, the Republicans, and the "Burr"publicans. In 2008, at the age of 23, Justin Burr was elected to represent Stanly and Montgomery County in the NC House, in district 67. He started out okay, but then got cozy with then-Speaker Thom Tillis and all the power went to his head. Over his past 3 terms, Burr has made it his prerogative to control every aspect of government in Stanly County. 

Justin has had some formidable primary challengers over the past few elections. A former mayor of Norwood, a county commissioner, and a consummate farmer. Facing respected challengers, Justin began attacking anyone and everyone. He called other politicians the "establishment" before it was cool. (All this while spending thousands of campaign dollars on Brooks Brothers suits). In order to ensure that no-one took his power, he got his dad elected as Chair of the Stanly GOP. Then, he got his buddies elected to the County Commission. Then, and here's where it get's good, he set his sights on the school board.

Last year, he knew he was facing his strongest primary challenge yet, so he tacked himself onto an ongoing debate about school consolidation in the county. Never mind the fact that his very votes in Raleigh are the reason for schools even considering consolidation, he divided the county between "liberals" and "advocates for community schools." In 2015, he rammed a bill through the House to make all school board elections in Stanly partisan. The local Board of Elections sent a letter to Senator McInnis asking him to oppose the bill, because of the unnecessary effects it would have on elections in Stanly. So, Justin and his father, Phil, as Chair of the GOP literally had the members of the county Board of Elections removed.

Now, to the point of this post. In March, the Stanly GOP had their convention. According to the local newspaper, nearly 80 people showed up with one thing in mind: defeat Phil Burr and all of Justin's cronies. They had a slate of new candidates and all. But, when the time came for nominations from the floor, Justin's friends who are the current officers quickly rushed through a rules change which would eliminate the possibility for any nominations to come from the floor. Any shot of changing leadership was lost for the 80 folks who showed up.

This nonsense has been going on long enough. It's time that we send Justin Burr packing with his fancy Brooks Brother's suits. Click here to chip in a few bucks to help us in Stanly County.

Dylan Frick