Republican candidates for public office visited Cleveland County Saturday for the 10th District Executive Committee meeting prior to filing for office next week.
For the first time in years, the district meeting was held in Cleveland County at the county office building.
GOP chief of staff Chris McClure said the 10th district is, in a way, the heart of the Republican voting base in western North Carolina.
A straw poll for governor held at the meeting showed State Sen. Fred Smith was the favorite for the party nomination with 37 votes out of 61 cast. Attorney Bill Graham received 12 votes, followed by Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory with 11 and former Supreme Court Justice Bob Orr with one.
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