urgent update

5.1.06 - Hopewell H.S. Student Republicans Rally Around Rep. Rhodes' Re-Election

North Mecklenburg, NC. - Today, John Rhodes gave permission for the Hopewell Teenage Republicans to respond to charges of fraud, issuing the following statement from the volunteer effort:

[This campaign communication was authorized to be sent by Rep. John Rhodes. Rep. Rhodes appreciates the interest, commitment, and participation of young conservatives in his campaign, and in their pursuit of open and honest governent by Hopewell H.S. Student Republicans and U.N.C.C. College Republicans. He appreciates their stand of courage in the face of malicious false statements made by a local town official.]

Hopewell Highschool Student Republicans Do Firmly Endorse Rep. John Rhodes' Re-Election

May 1, 2006

To whom it may concern;

As a volunteer here at the Rhodes campaign I have asked that we be allowed to release this statement to the media, the voter lists, and any other interested party and Rep. Rhodes has agreed to allow us to do so.

Recently, a town concilman on a non-partisian town board made some horrific claims about our (Hopewell H.S. Student Republicans) honesty that the volunteers feel need to be addressed.

In response to the claim by the town councilman, who supports Rhodes' opponent in this primary, that the Hopewell Teenage Republicans had their endorsement distorted and have a response from the Teenage Republicans they would like to share. They addressed every contention and confirmed that a photo had been taken that day for their records and it shows far more than the few members claimed.

From the Hopewell High School Teenage Republicans:

"In response to accusations by Cornelius Town Commissioner Jim Bensman, the Hopewell Teenage Republicans would like to reiterate our firm endorsement of Representiative John Rhodes for the District 98 seat. The vote was not fraudulent, as Bensman suggests, nor does it represent the opinions of only three club members. In making the endorsement the club followed the guidelines as set forth in the Constitution of the Hopewell Teenage Republicans. The initial vote by the executive board was unanimous, 7-0, and when presented before the club for approval at the next meeting, no objections were raised from any of the 19 members in attendance.

"Throughout its two year existence, the Hopewell Teenage Republicans have enjoyed complete political autonomy. Although both were facing Republican opponents, no one objected when the club endorsed either Larry Gauvreau in the District 1 school board race or Kim Phillips for Huntersville Town Mayor. These decisions were allowed to be made without approval from our staff advisor or any member of the Hopewell administration, and for this we are grateful. The endorsements made by the Hopewell Teenage Republicans reflects the opinion solely of the organization: not its advisor, Hopewell's administration, PTSA, parents, or the school as a whole.

"We are sincerely disappointed in the change of attitude with respect to the Teenage Republican's endorsement of Rhodes.


"Bryan Weyand and James Heilpern, Co-Chairmen

"Luke Augsperger and Tiffany Burgin, Vice Chairmen

"Nicholas King, Treasurer

"Christina Siadak, Secretary

"Josh Ivester, Historian"


From the campaign volunteers of Citizens To Re-Elect Rep. John Rhodes; We would ask not to make false claims or speak on behalf of other groups when contacting voters.


"Hopewell Republican endorsement?

There have been several mail pieces, circulars and ads from Mr. Rhodes about the endorsement from the Hopewell Republicans. Turns out that is a complete farce. This is 3 students who are members of that group. However, the group itself never voted on an endorsement and the faculty member supervising this group knew nothing about it. I am told that the members were misquoted by Mr. Rhodes and he refused their request for corrections. A complete fabrication!!"

The vounteers feel that Mr. Bensman owes the Hopewell group a public apology. We find the maturity level of the Teenage Republicans to be stellar by comparison. If I resided in Cornelius I would have to wonder about why a town commissioner would write a piece this erratic in tone and construction. It does not deal with the issues nor present a valid argument.

Thank you,

Richard Rivette

Rhodes campaign volunteer


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