August 22, 2019

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Latest News, West Virginia

ICYMI: West Virginia GOP County Chair Takes Republican Secretary of State and State GOP Chair to Court

The West Virginia GOP Civil War continues to rage on

“[GOP State Chairwoman Potter] won’t be happy until her powers are unlimited” – Wood County GOP Chairman Rob Cornelius

“This is an emergency. We’re getting ready to go into the 2020 election.” – state GOP Chairwoman Melody Potter

In case you missed it, West Virginia Republican Secretary of State Mac Warner and state GOP Chairwoman Melody Potter are being taken to court by a member of their own political party.

The lawsuit, brought by Wood County GOP Chairman Rob Cornelius over his unlawful removal from the county GOP leadership, is just the latest chapter in a long saga of interparty drama in the West Virginia GOP.

To refresh our readers, state GOP Chairwoman Potter removed Cornelius in June citing “multiple acts of constant disunity.” Among these are leading the Wood County GOP Executive Committee to cast a vote of “no confidence” towards GOP Gov. Jim Justice and passing a resolution calling for his impeachment.

State GOP Chairwoman Potter has been on the defensive, arguing that her actions are justified because Cornelius’ criticism of Gov. Justice is “an emergency” heading into the election.

Given that Justice faces multiple state Republican committees voicing “no confidence” in his leadership, she might not be overstating the situation.

Read all about the latest development in the West Virginia GOP Civil War below:

West Virginia Metro News: Secretary of State, GOP chairwoman sued over county chairman’s removal

The West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner and state Republican Party Chairwoman Melody Potter are being sued over the removal of an elected county GOP chairman.

Rob Cornelius, chairman of the Wood County Republican Executive Committee, filed the lawsuit Wednesday morning in Kanawha Circuit Court.

“Chairwoman Potter’s attempted removal of petitioner was in violation of his rights including his state constitutional right to serve the office he was elected to, his right not to be removed from that office without complying with principles of due process, and his right not to be removed from a county office absent compliance with West Virginia Code 6-6-7.

[…]

Potter sent a memo June 18 removing Cornelius as the chairman of the Wood County GOP.

Cornelius had been outspoken on social media about Gov. Jim Justice and in opposition to Potter.

Potter wrote that Cornelius “has engaged in multiple acts of constant disunity.” She cited state party bylaws in removing him from the Wood County GOP.

[…]

During an appearance last month on MetroNews’ “Talkline,” Potter said she had the authority to remove Cornelius. Potter cited two state party bylaws giving her the power.

One of those gives the chairwoman unilateral authority to take such action when “time is of the essence.”

“This is an emergency. We’re getting ready to go into the 2020 election,” she said on “Talkline.”

[…]

“Essentially, Melody Potter wants to cancel my election in Wood County. Our lawsuit clearly defines why she cannot,” Cornelius stated.

“But she also wants to cancel more than 3 million votes for RNC Delegates next spring, and will try to execute that plan to deny democracy this weekend. She won’t be happy until her powers are unlimited, like Galactus.”