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GOP leaders speak on Berger censure


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- He was once a rising star in the New Hanover County Republican Party, but now party leaders say Brian Berger has become a black eye of sorts and are taking steps to distance themselves from the embattled county commissioner.

"Leaders are there to lead, and Brian has shown in the last couple of years that he cannot lead effectively with the personal issues that are impairing him," said Scott Haynes, chairman of the Lower Cape Fear Young Republicans.

After multiple arrests and repeatedly being late or missing scheduled meetings the New Hanover County Republican Party says the last straw with Brian Berger came when he had a meltdown in front of Governor Pat McCrory.

"We had looked at this about a year ago at one of our executive committee meetings, but it got tabled at that time," New Hanover Republican Party Chair Rhonda Amoroso said. "I think with what transpired last week in front of our governor it was just time where people have had enough. Brian is responsible for his own actions. People want to like Brian, but he has to get his house in order."

After a motion by delegate Mike Fitzpatrick at Saturday's County GOP Convention members voted to censure Berger and distance him from the party.

Haynes said Berger's actions don't reflect the rest of the party.

"We have tremendous people in our party, and especially tremendous young Republicans in our party," Haynes said. "This is an isolated incident with an isolated person who has personal issues that need to be dealt with immediately. Commissioner White is offering help to Mr. Berger, and Mr. Berger should take him up on that offer, step down from his position and let the county go about their business."

Berger told WWAY on Friday that he will not resign unless the other Republicans on the commission do as well.

He says that his fellow commissioners and party members need to judge him on his political policies and not his personality.

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