National Rifle Association Unity: Wayne LaPierre Remains CEO, Carolyn Meadows New President

Wayne La Pierre, Carolyn Meadows
National Rifle Association

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – The National Rifle Association board of directors re-elected CEO Wayne LaPierre in Indianapolis on Monday. The NRA board also elected Carolyn Meadows as the new president of the powerhouse organization and granted outgoing president Lt. Col. Oliver North a lifetime seat on the NRA’s executive council.

LaPierre has led the NRA as its CEO since 1991. Last week North broke publicly with LaPierre over management issues ahead of the organization’s annual meeting, which was held in Indianapolis this year. The NRA president is the chairman of the organization’s board of directors, so heightened media attention followed the civil rights group’s regularly scheduled Monday board meeting.

That part proved anticlimactic, as the board overwhelmingly rallied to LaPierre – who goes simply by “Wayne” with everyone at the organization down to entry-level staff – and unanimously re-elected Wayne as executive vice president (EVP), which is the chief executive officer of the organization.

The board elected Meadows as president, only the third woman ever to hold that position. She has served on the NRA board of directors since 2003, and has been second vice president since 2017. As such, it was expected that the board of directors would eventually elect her to the president’s chair.

The most recent woman to hold the position of NRA president is Sandy Froman, who still serves on the NRA board and is deeply respected as a senior statesman among the group’s leaders. Froman enthusiastically supported Meadows’ ascension to the presidency.

Meadows is a longtime political veteran, not only on Second Amendment issues but of other conservative issues as well. For years she was the national committeewoman representing Georgia on the Republican National Committee, and has been in leadership at the American Conservative Union (ACU) and its movement-wide flagship annual event, the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

In what appears to a gesture of respect, the board also voted to give North an honor generally reserved for other past presidents: a seat on the NRA executive council. Whereas NRA directors are elected to three-year terms, executive council members have lifetime tenure, participating with the board at all meetings, though without voting privileges.

The board elected Charles Cotton as its new first vice president. Cotton is a longtime litigation attorney and board member who is actively involved in monitoring the growing number of lawsuits nationwide involving the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

The body also elected Willes Lee as second vice president. Lee is a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army and has served as president of the National Federation of Republican Assemblies.

LaPierre reappointed Chris Cox as executive director of the NRA Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA). Cox has been the chief lobbyist for the ultra-powerful organization since 2003.

NRA officers serve one-year terms, and the remaining officers were all reaffirmed. The board of directors will vote again on the organization’s leadership after its 2020 annual meeting, which will be held in Nashville.

Ken Klukowski is senior legal analyst for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @kenklukowski.

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