All political parties are coalitions. These competing factions create tensions and push-and-pull that can lead to good policies in the best of times, and endless infighting in the worst of them.
Here’s a look at the types of Republicans you’ll find in North Carolina politics.
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Chamber of Commerce Republicans
Also known as establishment Republicans, or if you want to use a more pejorative term, “country club Republicans.” They tend to favor pro-business policies, lower taxes and lighter regulation — but don’t want to rock the boat too much.
These Republicans supported Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio in the 2016 presidential primary.
Key examples: Thom Tillis, Pat McCrory
They strongly affiliate with a Christian background and ground their policy position on their faith. They tend to favor restrictions on abortions and oppose same-sex marriage.
These Republicans typically supported Ted Cruz in the 2016 presidential primary.
Key examples: Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, Mark Harris
Also known today as Trumpkins. They tend to be pro-military, pro-jobs, anti-regulation and speak often about manufacturing. They supported Donald Trump and still hold fast to him.
Key examples: U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger
These tend to be the strongest small-government Republicans, favoring as little intervention as possible — in the economy, in business or in foreign conflicts.
These Republicans likely wished Ron Paul ran again in 2016 but might have backed his son U.S. Sen. Rand Paul in 2016.
Key examples: Art Pope, Greg Brannon
Big city Republicans
It’s tough these days for Republicans to carve out a position in cities, which are dominated by Democrats. They serve in small, suburban districts and tend to be among the more moderate of the Republican factions. They favor pro-business, low taxes, fiscally responsible positions.
Key examples: Gov. Jim Martin, Edwin Peacock
These Republicans are the least likely to compromise on spending and place fiscal policy at the heart of their message.
Key examples: U.S. Rep. Walter Jones
These folks moved to North Carolina after spending time up north and have some different ideas about how government should operate. For one thing, they are baffled that our state does not have different school districts for each town. There could be more of them soon after our state eliminated the death tax.
Key examples: Bob Rucho
These Republicans are carving a new path for the party moving forward — and perhaps forming a new coalition. They tend to be entrepreneurial and emphasize small government and prudent spending, but don’t get as caught up on social issues.
Key examples: Tariq Bokhari, Matthew Ridenhour, N.C. Sen. Chad Barefoot