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Protest Convention For Anti-Trump Republicans Is Coming to Charlotte

Ben P L
Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 2.0

Charlotte will host not one but two gatherings of national Republicans this August.

A group of conservatives opposed to President Trump – often known as “never Trump” conservatives – will hold a shadow convention at the same time as the Republican National Convention.

The opposition convention is led by Evan McMullin, a former CIA officer who ran for president as a third-party candidate in 2016. He got 21% of the vote in his home state of Utah. 

And he’s bringing together – in Charlotte – conservatives who oppose the president.

“It will be called the Convention on Founding Principles,” McMullin said. “The focus will be to demonstrate and discuss and to communicate the importance of founding principles, not only to the Republican Party but also to the country.”

McMullin leads the group Stand Up Republic. 

He’s providing national resources to an idea that was started by former North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Bob Orr. 

Orr, who ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2008, has said for months that he wants to hold a protest, or shadow convention, in Charlotte during the RNC.

Orr said the convention was going to be at Queens University, but the pandemic has upended those plans. He isn't certain where the meeting will be held.

Former N.C. Supreme Court Justice Robert Orr

But McMullin says there will be a presence of anti-Trump conservatives in Charlotte.

“Without the pandemic, I think we probably would have a gathering of a few thousand,” he said. “With the pandemic, we will be shifting to more of a digital approach to the convention. We seek to have a convention that brings together all principled conservative groups."

The Republican National Convention says it’s moving full-speed ahead with its Aug. 24 convention.

RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel said the GOP will be rethinking the convention at the start of July if Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s health mandates require them to change. McDaniel said all people inside the Spectrum Center could be wearing masks.

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