Upshur Co. Republicans debate who will accept candidate applications
POSTED: Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - 10:37am
UPDATED: Thursday, September 15, 2011 - 12:11pm
Gilmer, TX — Cracks in the Upshur County Republican Party shone through Monday as members squabbled about who would accept candidate applications for the 2012 elections with the result being that whomever takes them won’t be doing so at the courthouse.
Party member Cynthia Ridgeway requested Upshur County commissioners allow the Republicans to use a courtroom Sept. 13 and Nov. 12 to accept candidate applications.
“Commissioners Court has no business sitting up here talking about political parties, at all,” county resident, and Democrat, Dan Miles said. “Some resolution should be made to separate Upshur County from politics. This is for county business — not politics.”
The commissioners voted 3-1 to deny Ridgeway’s request; Commissioner James Crittenden cast the dissenting vote.
GOP Chairman Ken Ambrose said he is responsible for taking the applications and plans to have the Upshur County Republican Party headquarters open on both of those dates as well as well a couple days a week throughout the filing period.
Interim Judge Jim Bowling asked Ridgeway why the party could not use its headquarters for filing. Ridgeway replied that the party does not have a headquarters. Ambrose informed her the headquarters are on Silver Alley in Gilmer.
“Is this just a refusal to admit we have a party chair?” Commissioner Lloyd Crabtree asked Ridgeway.
Ridgeway and several party members, including former Chairwoman Brenda Patterson, whom Ambrose defeated in the last election, have been holding meetings for months separate from the quarterly meetings that Ambrose schedules.
Ridgeway and her constituents have not attended meetings Ambrose has held in 2011, and Ambrose has not attended meetings held by the other faction of the Republican Party.
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