Art Pope is president and vice-chairman of the board of directors for Variety Wholesalers Inc., where he has served in various capacities since 1986. During that period, he was elected to four terms (nonconsecutive) in the North Carolina House of Representatives. Mr. Pope's involvement in North Carolina policy making has also included serving as special counsel to the governor in 1985, running for the lieutenant governorship in 1992, and being chosen as a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1992 and 1996. In addition, he serves on boards for numerous organizations including the John Locke Foundation, the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, and the North Carolina Retail Merchants Association. Mr. Pope is a member of the North Carolina Bar Association. He received his juris doctorate from the Duke University School of Law.
Pope has longstanding ties to the Kochs, having served as a founding board member of Americans for Prosperity, and his family foundation has given millions to AFP's 501(c)(3) nonprofit arm. Pope also attended Koch donor gatherings in 2010 and 2011, when Charles Koch praised him for having given over $1 million to Koch-related causes in the previous year. In turn, the Kochs have contributed to conservative advocacy groups founded by Pope, including the Civitas Institute and the John Locke Foundation.more » « less