Yesterday and actually yesternight, too, the Shelby GOP had its convention to elect officers for the next two years.
I say yesternight because delegates arrived for the 2 p.m. start and it wasn’t over until 8 p.m. It was long to say the least.
Chairman Justin Joy began the program with an invocation to prayer done by John and Sue Williams. They made their way to the podium and were met with applause and a standing ovation. Sue has so bravely met her recent illness with grace and calm that we were all touched by her.
After the pledge, Tommy Parker explained what had happened since the delegates were chosen in March. Delegates and candidates were checked to make sure they were legal voters who had voted in Republican primaries. Some had problems and a board went over each one’s qualifications and appeals before they were rejected.
A roll call began and we had 267 delegates there, enough for a quorum as required by the Party rules.
Following that, Justin Joy was elected by acclamation, as were other officers who had no opponents. Peggy Larkin will serve as first vice chairman; Mary Jane Anderson as recording secretary; Barbara Rose for vice recording secretary; and Jean Drumwright for corresponding secretary.
Then a variety of candidates for posts came forward and told of their qualifications in a four minute speech. Once that was concluded, a vote was to begin. Arnold Weiner gave his reasons for election as did Ebben Raves, the other candidate for second vice chairman. Raves was also in the military and has written many articles for a favorite site of mine, americanthinker.com
Dee Nollner went up again Lynn Moss for third vice chairman and Mick Wright spoke for fourth vice chairman along with Sam Cooper. Wright won the audience over with his prop of a Kroger paper bag from which he brought forth a box of Ritz crackers. Without directly referring to Mike Ritz on the Shelby County Commission, he discussed how Ritz had not been his choice at the grocery store as he learned “they” would be costing him more in taxes. It was a jab at Mike Ritz who disappointed Republicans by coming out for a countywide tax hike and who has been voting with the Democrats. Wright has launched recallritz.com.
John Niven and Russell Siegfried sparred for the Treasurer post. Niven gave a spirited talk about Tea Party members and Republicans working together against the enemy – liberals. Following them was Kim Perry and Catherine Auxier. Perry stressed her devotion to the party and constant work for them. Auxier has been an activist against several issues and her summary of the smart meter issue was on this site yesterday.
It was after the speeches that the contentiousness began. Mitchell Morrison and five other precincts spoke against voice or hand vote and were successful in getting vote by paper ballot initiated. A grueling hour and a half of tabulation ensued, much to everyone’s consternation.
When the vote counts were officially announced, it seems that most cases would have easily been served by voice vote. The results were Weiner 208, Raves 121; Moss 161, Nollner 159 (the closest race); Wright 241 to Cooper’s 86; Niven 246 to Siegfried’s 77; and Perry 235 to Auxier’s 90.
Once that was decided, uncontested races were voted on by acclimation. These offices were: John Williams (District 83 representative), Bob Morgan (District 87), Curt Cowan (91), Mike Shearin (95), Jeff Jacobs (97), Chris Connolly (99), Meg Clifton (84), Georgeann King (90), Wayne West (93), Jim Harrell (96) and David Shiffman (98).
Contested race candidates then had two minutes to speak. They were then voted on by ballot. By that point, voting was done and people began to leave. I am not yet sure what the results were. I will post them when they are announced.
So why was a simple election dragged out to an interminable six hours? A certain faction of the party has libertarian/tea party leanings. In my opinion their strategy was to draw out the event by means of parliamentary objections so that many people would give up and go home. As long as their people stayed, they hoped to outlast the other delegates and launch their candidates into office.
I don’t believe it worked in the end as people were dogged enough to stay put.
Suffice it to say I’m glad a convention only happens every two years.