Background: During the fall 2016 election period there was a Donald Trump baseball bat, a collector’s item, on display in the Lee County GOP Headquarters. It was privately owned and left there to attract a buyer.
The Allegation: Someone working on Sherry-Lynn Womack’s school board campaign in Lee County was alleged to be intimidating voters with a Donald Trump baseball bat. It is further alleged that Jim Womack was somehow involved.
The Truth: In late October 2016, during early voting, Lee County republicans were handing out their (now famous) Conservative and Veteran’s ballot at the early voting sites. It was a highly popular sample ballot identifying all veterans who were running for office. This ballot also identified all judges and justices who were Republicans and suggested everyone should vote all Republican. Lee County democrats were dismayed this ballot was being legally distributed and that many minority voters were taking this sample ballot to see who the veterans were (almost all of whom were Republican candidates).
One member of the local NAACP, a democrat operative, posted on Facebook that democrats must stop the distribution of this ballot by bringing bats to the polls if necessary. In an attempt to mock the Facebook post, several local Republicans posed the next day with baseball gear in and around the GOP headquarters. Sherry-Lynn Womack posed for a picture with the Trump bat inside the GOP headquarters. Later in the day, another Lee GOP volunteer ill-advisedly removed the Trump bat from the headquarters and took it down the block to a parking lot across from a polling site. Sherry-Lynn Womack noticed him there with the bat in hand while she was electioneering. She left the polling site, met him in the parking lot and removed the bat from his possession. She returned the bat to the Lee GOP headquarters. At no time were there voters in the vicinity of the person with the bat and at no time was the bat raised in a menacing manner.
Jim Womack, then a party official in the Lee GOP, was electioneering at another early voting site. He was completely unaware of the Trump bat being used for any purpose. He did not know about any pictures being taken, and he was unaware the bat ever left the GOP headquarters until days later, when the local election board received a complaint of voter intimidation. All was reported to the NCGOP and resolved by the NCGOP General Counsel.
Conclusion: The Trump bat story is incredibly ironic. Democrats were seeking to interfere with Republican electioneering in Lee County, yet Republicans were accused of voter intimidation. Allegations of voter intimidation with a Trump bat were a complete fabrication, with no basis in truth.
Background: The North Carolina General Assembly voted in 2015 to authorize the NC House and Senate political conferences to move their funds out from under the management of the NCGOP. The state senate moved its funds in 2016, during the tenure of Hasan Harnett. On May 23, 2017, the NC House of Representatives GOP Caucus also voted to move its funds from management by the NCGOP to an independent account, not under management of or reporting by the NCGOP.
The Allegation: Some pundits assert the upcoming election of a new NCGOP Party Chair had a major role in the House GOP members electing to move their funds away from managerial oversight by the NCGOP finance team. Some media sources seem to think the imminent demise of Chairman Hayes was the cause for moving the money. Another source speculated the move was necessary to keep Hayes from robbing the kitty before the funds were turned over to his successor for management. Another source stated the probable election of Jim Womack as the new state GOP Chairman on June 3, 2017 had nothing to do with the vote today; that instead the purpose was to de-couple the House caucus account from the NCGOP operational accounts to enhance collections from a broader range of contributors.
The Truth: Barring a statement from the Speaker of the House or testimony from GOP Caucus insiders, the truth is elusive. We’re not altogether sure any two people in the caucus would agree entirely about why they voted this way, and why they did it two weeks before convention.
Conclusion: There was no accompanying rationale provided for the GOP Caucus moving its money. Frankly, it is the prerogative of the General Assembly caucus’ to manage their money in manner that best suits their needs. Jim Womack respects the legislative authority of the NCGA to co-mingle funds with the respective parties or to manage them independently. The Senate moved its funds in a previous legislative session, and the House found it expedient to do so this year- prior to the election of a new NCGOP Chairman. It doesn’t appear the GOP Caucus in the House was particularly worried about whether the party was about to change leaders. Womack has expressed his support for the House managing its caucus money in whatever manner it prefers. Womack has repeatedly stated his support for the General Assembly under current management. This move by the GOP Caucus does not alter his support in the least. North Carolina has perhaps the finest legislature in the country. That same General Assembly is chiefly responsible for enabling the amazing turnaround of this state’s economic fortunes since 2009. Moving GOP caucus money to an independent account is a trivial matter in comparison to the superb legislative record of this body.
Someone once said: “behind every great man, you will find a great woman”. Sometimes, the great woman is beside him.
I am not alone in thinking that Jim Womack is a great man, and I recently had the pleasure of meeting the great woman beside him.
Lt. Col. Sherry-Lynn Womack, United States Army (Retired) is a truly impressive woman. She is a tiny little package of dynamite! Like her husband Jim, her post-Army activities include public service. She currently serves on the Lee County NC School Board.
I could sit here and write all evening about this remarkable woman, but the videos shown below might tell you more.
A TV news feature on Sherry-Lynn:
Sherry-Lynn sings at her retirement celebration:
(this one cannot be embedded in this page, you’ll have to click the link below) https://youtu.be/xL1r_GN62mU
After writing this article, I discovered another gem among Sherry-Lynn’s YouTube videos. Listen to beautiful voices singing Amazing Grace, and read her comment below explaining why she requested this hymn be sung at her retirement ceremony.
With combat tours in both Afghanistan and Iraq there is no doubt that I believe in God’s “Amazing Grace” so it should come as no surprise that this song would be requested as I wanted to remember my friends who were not able to attend and made the ultimate sacrifice to our Country. Brian, Justin, Jamie, Dan, Chuck and Mike I will NEVER forget you… NEVER!