Ashe County native Lee McMillan was honored by the North Carolina Republican Party by being inducted into the party’s statewide Hall of Fame at an awards banquet in Raleigh Saturday, Dec. 7. McMillan was inducted as a nominee from the Fifth Congressional District.
The criteria for the District Award presented to McMillan include those individuals who have demonstrated their commitment to the Republican Party organization through a minimum of 10 years of service at the local, regional or state level. Through their continuous support of Republican candidates, they have helped to build and support the foundation and structure of the Republican Party in N.C.
There are currently only 235 members of the North Carolina Republican Party Hall of Fame, and McMillan was one of 16 inducted this past weekend.
“I am very honored to have even been nominated, although I don’t feel I’ve done as much as others. I’ve just done through my life what I could to protect and support our Constitution,” McMillan said.
“We in Ashe County are thrilled that Mr. McMillan has finally been recognized by the state Republican Party for what we already knew. It couldn’t come to a more deserving Republican,” Ashe County Republican Party Chairman Jonathan Jordan said.
Mr. McMillan’s political career includes serving as an Ashe County Commissioner (1996-2000), a candidate for the N.C. Senate in 1990 and Chairman of the Ashe County Republican Party (1986-1990). He was a Bob Dole Presidential Elector from the Fifth Congressional District in 1996, a Delegate to the 1998 Republican National Convention in New Orleans and an Alternate Delegate to the 1992 Republican National Convention in Houston. He was appointed chairman of the Ashe County Jim Martin for Governor Committee in 1988. He has served multiple terms as a member of the Ashe County Republican Executive Committee, the Fifth Congressional District Republican Executive Committee and the NCGOP Executive Committee.
McMillan is a 1956 Graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and served in the U.S. Navy for 23 years. He retired from the Navy in 1977 with the rank of commander. During his Navy service, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal (with Combat V) (4/14/72); the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (4/27/76) and the Navy Meritorious Service Medal (6/21/71).
His civic achievements in Ashe County include serving as the first Republican President of the Ashe County Chamber of Commerce, a Board Member of the Ashe County Civic Center and the National Committee for the New River and a longtime member of the Ashe County Christmas Tree Growers Association.
McMillan’s family-style restaurant, Shatley Springs Inn and Restaurant, is a local landmark and has been a destination for thousands of travelers to the High Country since 1958, when he purchased the property. It was awarded “Best Breakfast in North Carolina” in October of 1997 by Our State Magazine.