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Claude Pope wants to become NC Republican chairman

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

The former chairman of the Wake County Republican Party wants a similar job leading the GOP for all of North Carolina.
    
Claude Pope Jr. announced Wednesday he'll run for the state chairman's post being vacated by former U.S. Rep. Robin Hayes, who told Republican leaders this week he will not seek another two-year term at the June party convention.
    
Pope now runs a grocery store on Bald Head Island. He says he wants to support county parties, reach out to conservative-leaning groups and work closely with the Republican legislature and Gov. Pat McCrory.
    
Pope and his campaign have close ties to McCrory.
    
Pope's campaign team includes McCrory's nephew, Patrick Sebastian, and McCrory 2012 campaign manager Russell Peck.
    
Pope's cousin is state budget director Art Pope.

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