ICYMI: West Virginia Republican Party Chairwoman Fires County Party Chair in Retaliation for ‘No Confidence’ Vote Against Jim Justice
County Party Chair Cornelius Orchestrated ‘No Confidence’ Vote Against Justice
Cornelius: I have chosen to “stand against a crooked governor and a dishonest party chair whose loyalty was purchased last summer”
In case you missed it, the infighting in West Virginia’s Republican Party reached a new level this week after Melody Potter, the party’s chairwoman, unceremoniously told members she will be removing Rob Cornelius as head of the Wood County GOP Executive Committee.
This act of retaliation comes only two months after Cornelius led the Wood County GOP Executive Committee to cast a vote of ‘no confidence’ towards West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice. Cornelius’ Executive Committee passed a resolution calling for Justice’s impeachment last year. Justice faces several Republican committees voicing ‘no confidence’ in his leadership as well as several Republican state senators calling for him to resign.
Read more about the turmoil in the West Virginia GOP below:
Parkersburg News and Sentinel: West Virginia GOP leader ousts Wood County chair Cornelius
Melody Potter, the chairwoman of the West Virginia Republican Party, this week notified members of the Wood County GOP Executive Committee that she is removing Rob Cornelius as head of the county party.
A copy of the letter was provided to The Parkersburg News and Sentinel Thursday afternoon by Cornelius, who has been outspoken in his criticism of Gov. Jim Justice and Potter.
“I am absolutely astounded that in a play of misguided arrogance, the chairwoman of the West Virginia Republican Party has attempted to invalidate the will of numerous Wood County voters in retaliation to my fervent criticism of her and of her chosen Republican leader, Jim Justice,” Cornelius said via email. “Despite what she or the governor believes, a poorly-written letter cannot invalidate an election or established West Virginia Code.”
Justice was elected in 2016 as a Democrat and switched his party affiliation to Republican just under a year later. In June 2018, the Wood County GOP passed a resolution seeking Justice’s impeachment. A committee member said in April the resolution had been rescinded. Cornelius said this morning the vote to rescind did not receive the required two-thirds majority to pass.
Cornelius said Potter is attempting “to set a dangerous precedent that should strike fear into the hearts of every member of every county Republican Executive Committee.
“This letter clearly states that she believes through an organization’s bylaws, she can punish anybody she wants, in any manner she wants, in any county she wants,” he said.
“I have chosen, quite publicly, to stand against a crooked governor and a dishonest party chair whose loyalty was purchased last summer,” [Cornelius] said. “Our First Amendment not only protects this precious right, it encourages it, and thousands of brave men and women have fought for this country to protect it. Our freedom to speak against our government is what separates us from places like North Korea.”
Asked whether he planned to contest Potter’s action and how, Cornelius said, “We are examining all legal options to defend this committee and the Republican voters of this county from these acts that disregard or violate West Virginia code.”