By Alex Bridges -- firstname.lastname@example.org
FRONT ROYAL -- Republican Party officials in Virginia's 6th District could decide next month who leads the Warren County GOP committee.
The county held a meeting Tuesday at the Warren County Community Center that was called by a petition signed by members as allowed by the committee's bylaws, according to Dennis Fusalo, who assumed the chairman position temporarily for the session.
The committee voted to send an appeal to the Republican Party of Virginia regarding the results of the county committee's mass meeting earlier this spring. The sixth district GOP will hear the appeal in Lexington on June 2.
The county GOP has been at odds since the mass meeting. Some members contend that Mike McHugh is the chairman of the group. Others feel Dominic J. "Don" Repici was elected chairman.
Members continued to question whether Tuesday night's meeting was legal under the committee's rules. Fusaro explained it had been called by members by way of a petition as allowed.
"I saw all the e-mails over the last couple of days, two sides pointing fingers at each other saying 'what you're doing is illegal by the bylaws,'" said member Boyd Blankenship. "But it seems to me right now we have two factions of the Republican Committee vying for the leadership and, I guess my question is ... how does this get resolved?
"How does the committee come back together?" Blankenship added. "Because right now I don't know who's right ..."
Repici did not attend the called meeting though, according to Fusaro, he did acknowledge that members could choose by petition to hold such a session.
As member John Connolly explained earlier, Repici did not issue a call for the meeting despite the collection of 1/3 of the membership's signatures. Messages had been sent out discouraging members from attending the meeting, according to Connolly.
"[T]he end net result is that anyone who did not get a personal e-mail from that 1/3 was disenfranchised from being part of this meeting," Connolly said.
McHugh, at the meeting Tuesday, made a motion to reconsider sending an appeal of the mass meeting results to Republican Party of Virginia officials scheduled to convene June 2. McHugh had, on April 12, voted with the members who opposed the move to appeal the results. However, at the Tuesday meeting reversed his action and asked the committee to appeal the results of the mass meeting. Under Robert's Rules of Order McHugh had the right to make the motion to reconsider the appeal request.
As Fusaro explained the committee's bylaws allow the chairman to call a meeting or 1/3 of the members can make the request by way of a signed petition.
McHugh said that if the sixth district GOP officials decision on the appeal does not "go our way" the county party committee can take its case to the state Republican Party. The committee likely would have to accept the decision made at that level, McHugh said.
"There has to be an end to this madness," McHugh said.