An open letter to the chairman of the York County Republican Committee is a portent to an approaching skirmish between a group of dissenting Republicans and the GOP establishment for control of the local committee.
The group of tea party members and other conservatives aren't daunted by losses in Tuesday's primary, and they're strategizing to overthrow sitting GOP chairman Bob Wilson during an upcoming reorganizational meeting, said Beth Roberts, spokeswoman for the York 912 Patriots and a candidate who lost her House bid against a incumbent Republican state Rep. Seth Grove.
"Revolution, and that's what this is, takes time," she said. "We, the tea party or the independent people here, are the people who are actually committed to the Republican principles of economic freedom and limited government. We are the real Republicans. The imposters here are the establishment who ... hijacked the party."
Roberts, a committeewoman, counts Wilson among the offenders who aren't conservative enough and who perpetuate a "good ol' boys network that has a monopoly on the party."
The group of dissenters got themselves on the ballot or launched write-in campaigns for committee positions, which will allow them to vote June 14 on whether to retain Wilson as chair, she said.
Many of them were elected, but whether there are enough for a coup remains to be seen until the write-in results are finalized next week. A simple majority of voting members is needed to pass the vote for chairman.
There are hundreds of committee people, one man and one woman for each of the county's 159 precincts. But there are numerous vacancies in areas where people didn't run, and recently elected Lower Windsor Township committeewoman Allison Blew sent newspapers an open letter to Wilson requesting he not appoint committeepeople to those vacancies before the vote to retain his chairmanship.
The organization's bylaws would allow Wilson to do so, so "in theory, the chairman could appoint people to the committee who in turn will vote for that person as chairman. That is the definition of cronyism," Blew wrote.
She and a group of 29 other dissenters signed the letter. Roberts said she's not sure whom the group would suggest as a possible replacement for Wilson.
Wilson undecided: Wilson said he's still undecided about whether to run for another term as chairman, and there were no other applicants for the volunteer position as of Thursday morning.
He declined to comment on the "revolution" and whether he'll appoint people before the vote for chairman.
"I intend to follow the rules and regulations of the bylaws," he said, declining to elaborate.
Wilson was elected unanimously by the executive committee, a smaller group that represents the full complement, about two years ago when longtime chairman Peck Foster resigned.
The reorganization meeting will be held 9 a.m. Saturday, June 14, at the Yorktowne Hotel, 48 E. Market St.
Candidates who intend to submit their names for consideration for the chairman and vice chairman positions must provide formal letters of intent and resumes by 5 p.m. Friday, May 30.
Letters of intent and resumes can be emailed to email@example.com or mailed to 2453 Kingston Court, Suite 101, York, 17402.
Anyone interested in joining the committee may call the office at (717) 854-7276 or visit www.yorkpagop.org.
— Reach Christina Kauffman at firstname.lastname@example.org.