163-278.8C. Council of State affiliated party committees.

(a) Members of the Council of State affiliated with the same political party may establish one separate Council of State affiliated party committee to support the election of candidates who would be eligible to be nominees of that political party for Council of State offices. No other Council of State affiliated party committees shall be authorized pursuant to this section. The Council of State affiliated party committee is deemed a political party for purposes of this Article.

(b) Each Council of State affiliated party committee shall:

(1) Adopt bylaws which shall be in compliance with the provisions of this Article. At a minimum, the bylaws shall include designation of a treasurer.

(2) Conduct campaigns for candidates for Council of State who are members of the leader's political party or manage daily operations of the Council of State affiliated party committee.

(3) Establish a bank account.

(4) Accept contributions and expend funds.

(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, a Council of State affiliated party committee shall be entitled to use the name, abbreviation, and symbol of the political party of its leader.

(d) A previously established Council of State affiliated party committee may continue to be maintained in the event that no individual affiliated with that political party is elected to serve on the Council of State in the general election. The Council of State affiliated party committee shall be maintained by the most recently elected members of the Council of State from that political party. Notwithstanding the definition of "leader" in subsection (e) of this section, those members shall designate an individual from that group to serve as leader. When an individual or individuals affiliated with that political party is next elected to the Council of State, that individual or individuals shall assume control of the Council of State affiliated party committee for that political party.

(e) For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:

(1) Leader. - The highest-ranking individual affiliated with the political party of the Council of State affiliated party committee. For the purposes of this subdivision, the highest-ranking office serving on the Council of State shall be in the following order: Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and the offices as set out in Article III, Section 7 of the North Carolina Constitution, as follows: Secretary of State, State Auditor, State Treasurer, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Attorney General, Commissioner of Agriculture, Commissioner of Labor, and Commissioner of Insurance.

(2) Political party. - As defined in G.S. 163-96. (2015-258, s. 3(a1); 2015-264, s. 81(b).)