County Leadership


Carolyn Garris

Carolyn Garris was re-elected as chair during the 2023 Beaufort County Republican Convention. Her interest in local politics peaked during the 2018 election cycle when she hit the pavement to promote strong candidates like Representative Keith Kidwell. Carolyn’s desire to serve her community grew and she became involved in voter registration, volunteering at the Republican Headquarters, attending rallies, planting and delivering signs, and working at her local precinct on election day.

During her 2021-2022 term, the Beaufort County Republican Party accomplished so much, including

  • Operation Victory - successful elections
  • Record fundraising
  • Permanent headquarters
  • Meet and greets with many candidates
  • Successful events such as raffles, golf tournaments, Reagan Day Dinners, assisted with fundraisers for candidates
  • Blood drive at headquarters
  • Supported elected officials
  • Boots on the ground - record poll observers
  • Call center at headquarters
  • Public candidate forum
  • Float in Belhaven July 4th Parade
  • Delegates at District & State Conventions

Carolyn was appointed Beaufort County Register of Deeds in January 2023 when Jennifer Whitehurst resigned. She has worked in local government for more than 29 years and still has the enthusiasm, if not more, like when she began. Her work record goes back to age 10 and includes a law firm, car dealership, egg farm (egg picker), and even harvesting cucumbers!

In May 2021, Carolyn received a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration with a major in Computer Information Systems.

Carolyn is committed to building strong foundations within the Republican Party and growing participation from our young people. In today’s climate, she believes we need to educate our young people before they reach voting age. They will be our leaders in the future.

Carolyn agrees with President Reagan who said, “I believe now, as I always have, that America’s strength is in We the People.”

Contact Carolyn: email or (cell) 252.944.3307

Paul Varcoe
Vice Chair

Paul Varcoe has held the position of Vice-Chair of the Beaufort County GOP for the last six years.  As an assistant in the 2014 campaign of Beaufort County Commissioner Ron Buzzeo, Paul facilitated Ron’s appearances in the festivals and parades that Ron attended by driving him in his antique car as an attention getter. 

In his position as Vice-Chair, he organized and supervised the Beaufort County GOP Headquarters for the 2016 Presidential election.  In this election cycle he distributed 1200-yard signs for Donald Trump.  Paul concentrated on the campaign of Keith Kidwell for North Carolina House 79 in 2018.  In support of his candidacy he traveled with Keith to many meetings.  Along with Keith, he helped install many campaign signs. 

From his career in business education and as a business owner, to his many positions in sales, Paul has developed an appreciation for capitalism and conservative values.  When asked, “What made America the greatest country in the world?”  His answer is “Freedom.  Individual freedom coupled with the opportunity to prosper.” 

Paul enjoys his cars and fishing. Beaufort County offers opportunity for both. 

Contact Paul: email or (cell) 252.402.0499

Jody Forrest
Second Vice Chair

Joanne “Jody” Forrest was elected second vice chair on March 25, 2023. Jody serves as manager of the Beaufort County Republican Headquarters since its opening on November 1, 2021. She also is an active member of the Beaufort County Republican Women’s Club and an advisor to the Inner Banks Young Republicans.

Jody assisted County Chair Carolyn Garris at rallies, fundraisers, parades, and meet-and-greets and organized a blood drive with the Red Cross held at the headquarters. Jody spent a lot of time talking to voters at Early Voting as well as observing absentee ballots and recounts at the Board of Elections and working tirelessly to get signatures for the County Commissioners Redistricting Petition. Her passion is meeting people and fundraising.

Jody is a retired radiologic technologist and apartment manager. She has a variety of work experience including a photographer of newborns in hospitals in SC, an imaging specialist for Circuit City, and a caregiver for her parents at the end of their lives. Jody fell in love with Beaufort County after moving here in 2016 to be near her family. She wanted to get involved in the 2020 Campaign and found that politics is her passion. She looks forward to continuing to serve her county the best she knows how. 

Contact Jody: email or (cell) 252.833.8808

 April Holloway

April Holloway truly has “invested” her entire life in Beaufort County, as she is a life-long resident of Beaufort County (628 Croatan St, Belhaven). Her family line in Beaufort County can be traced to the time of slavery. Her parents are Mike & Lillie Holloway, her grandparents are Pink & Berniece Mann and Marshall & Robena Holloway, and her great-grandparents are Rev. William & Hattie Ann Coviel whose parents were slaves.

April graduated from John A. Wilkinson High School (Belhaven) in 1986 and from Barton College (now Atlantic Christian College) in 1990. She was employed at Rose Acre Farms (Pantego) until 2015, and now she smiles when she says she “is giving back to the community by doing lots of work for no pay.”

April currently lives at 986 Pungo Village Road, Belhaven, since the family home is under major renovation.

April claims Proverbs 22:6 as her mantra: “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Among her favorite causes are her family, church, the Frederick Douglas Foundation, and the Republican Party.

Contact April: email or (cell) 252.945.8688

David French

After graduating from JH Rose High School in Greenville, I attended Pitt Community College in the Machinist program. Upon completion of this curriculum, I continued at PCC in Manufacturing Engineering Technology which provided a solid foundation for the first 28 years of my working career in manufacturing in operative and leadership positions.

I then spent eight-plus years as a realtor specializing in Residential Properties. During this relatively brief period, I served on the Greenville-Pitt Association of Realtors’ Board of Directors. In 2007 I was one of 12 realtors statewide selected to attend The North Carolina Association of Realtors Leadership Program, an intensive yearlong program to train future leaders at the local, state, and national levels. In 2008 I served as president of the Greenville-Pitt Association of Realtors and on the NCAR Professional Standards Committee.

My wife Sheila has been in the beauty business for 37-plus years. For about 25 of those years, she operated Salon French and Day Spa, a full-service salon in Greenville. In her early years, I helped her with budgets and inventory and introduced her to Quickbooks and a beauty industry point-of-sale software program. I served as her advisor in personnel matters.

Sheila and I have been married for 41 years and counting. We have one son, Bryan, who served in the 101st Airborne. His MOS was 11Bravo. He was deployed to Iraq in 2003 where his deployment lasted 11 months. Fortunately, he was discharged in 2005. He now lives in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Contact David: email or (cell) 252.717.1441