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New Party Finds Getting Started a Big Challenge
By Inside Politics | The Fayetteville Observer | June 28, 2010 (Original Context)

Terry Hardison says he has a tough job trying to persuade conservatives to leave the GOP and embrace a new party.

Organizers of the Constitution Party of North Carolina hope to get enough valid petitions from voters to be recognized by the state and listed on 2012 ballots.

Another third party, the Libertarians, had to go through the same process to become legit with the state.

Hardison, a pastor of a Wake County church, is one of the organizers of the Constitution Party. He said it has gathered about 2,000 signatures since renewing the effort last year.

They need more than 100,000 signatures.

Hardison said the Constitution Party is recognized in about 38 states. He said the party’s principles are similar to the Republican Party.

And that’s a problem for some Republicans. Some fear the new party might siphon away conservative votes in an election and won’t sign the petition, he said.

Organizers for the Constitution Party of North Carolina are going to gun shows, festivals, county fairs, tea party events – the type of grass-roots stuff that requires little money.

The party opposes abortion and promotes gun rights. It also, according to its website, “vigorously opposes all socialist government programs that take from one citizen to give to another, and the erosion of our borders and sovereignty.”

Hardison, 62, oversees the party’s petition drive in a 13-county region in central North Carolina, including Cumberland, Harnett, Lee and Sampson.

He is registered as unaffiliated, he said, because the state doesn’t recognize the Constitution Party.

Those who join are asked to pay a $15 annual membership fee. How many have done so, he didn’t know off hand.

Hardison said the state’s laws for ballot access and the country’s traditional two-party system limits the choices people have when they step into an election booth. He wants that to change.

Many clergyman don’t get involved in politics. He thinks more should. He said his motivation is to promote the gospel and religious freedom. He’s pastor of Charity Freewill Baptist Church in Wendell.

“I think we have a responsibility as pastor and church folks to defend the Constitution,” he said.

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Read the Full Article at The Fayetteville Observer

News 14 Carolina TV Interview
Posted by Jordon M. Greene | State Treasurer | June 11, 2010

Terry Hardison, State Chaplain and Central Region Director of the Constitution Party of North Carolina, and Kevin Hayes, State Events Coordinator and Wayne County Director are interviewed about the Constitution Party of North Carolina on News 14 Carolina.

Does North Carolina Need A Third Party?
By Jeff Gerber | Letter to the Editor in The Enquirer-Journal | June 3rd, 2010 (Original Context)

Having been a life long Republican, I have seen how many elected officials have compromised on their parties platform for various reasons, including winning a re-election or perhaps to gain popularity among their constituents. The same goes for members of county, state and federal government executive committees. Some candidates will go as far as changing their voter registration to win an election where one or the other party dominates registered voters. Perhaps this is why unaffiliated voter registration is on the rise – a lack of trust of either party.

Although there are still many true conservative Republicans and some Conservative Democrats still out there who hold their parties core beliefs true, there are other options that must be explored.

The time is right for a third party. We