Barnes elected to district GOP post

May. 03, 2013 @ 05:29 AM

A Rutherford County native was elected Second Vice Chairman of the 10th District Republican Party.

Jordan Barnes, 26, was elected to the post during the 10th Congressional District GOP annual convention Saturday in Lincolnton. He is one of the youngest people to be elected to the post.

"It was a surprise," Barnes said Monday. "Working in politics is something I've done since college and I thought there might be some possibilities come up but certainly not on the Congressional level."

Barnes was elected under the ticket of Craig Collins, former Gaston County Republican Party chairman. The ticket was elected to serve through 2015.

Locally, Barnes has served on the Rutherford County GOP executive committee and was the former president of the Rutherford County Republican Club. While a student at UNC-Charlotte, Barnes said he was involved in the College Republicans and was a student senator for the North Carolina Student Legislature.

He is a 2005 graduate of R-S Central High School and graduated in 2009 from UNC-Charlotte with a degree in political science.

"I made a decision that not a lot of young college graduates make ... I decided to come home ...," Barnes said. "This is my home. Rutherford County is a wonderful place to live and raise a family and we all know the struggles there are. I wanted to be a part of the solution."

He said the importance of becoming involved goes beyond party affiliation.

"When you choose to become involved in public service, people talk about the next generation and this shows when people graduate and take the next step, people see that they can work with that next generation," Barnes said. "You have to show people that you are willing to work hard and make everyday better for everybody, not just for any particular party."

He said that he is not shutting any doors to running for public office in the future.

"If the right opportunity presented itself and it was good for me and, more importantly, good for the party and the constituents, I would certainly look into it," Barnes said.

Barnes joins Robin Ramsey of Buncombe County and Mark Hilton of Catawba County as vice chairmen. Edward Dunlap of Gaston County was elected treasurer and Cheryl Every of Polk County was picked as secretary.

"This is going to give me a great opportunity to learn a lot more about politics and Craig has a wonderful resume working with Rick Santorum," Barnes said. "I will be able to learn from strong leaders."

According to a press release, Collins has served as the county coordinator for Rep. Patrick McHenry's campaign in 2004, Grassroots Coordinator for Rep. Sue Myrick and consulted on state Sen. Kathy Harrington's 2010 campaign.

"My number one priority from a district standpoint is to assist our county parties in building strong grassroots organizations and effective fundraising operations," Collins said.