As the GOP Central Committee Turns: New Drama Unfolds Online
What is rapidly becoming our favorite local soap opera, “As the Republican Central Committee Contest Turns, ” unveiled a new installment online, with the Facebook announcement of a unified “ticket” led by Young Republicans (AKA “Republicans of Cecil,” AKA the Smigiel-Pipkin team) seeking to take over the nine seats on the GOP Central Committee at stake in this year’s elections. The group drew in two incumbents from the current Central Committee and shut out any “tea party” candidates.
At the same time, two Young Repubican (YR) stalwarts, Chris Zeauskas and Michael Dawson, publicly “dissed” the tea party folks (known locally as the “Cecil County Patriots”) by boycotting the group’s scheduled Monday night candidates’ forum for Republican candidates for County Commissioner. Zeauskas is running for the GOP nomination in the 2nd District against Tari Moore. Dawson is seeking the GOP nomination for Commissioner in District 4, the seat currently held by Democrat Wayne Tome.
As The Cecil Times reported here: http://ceciltimes.wordpress.com/2010/07/07/gop-central-committee-drama-so-many-candidates-so-few-seats/ the July 6 filing deadline for candidates created a political drama at the local Elections Board as 22 candidates filed for just 9 seats on the GOP committee.
In the latest episode of our local drama, the new YR-led slate for the Central Committee is calling itself the “Cecil County Republican Fiscal Conservative Central Committee Team.” The group includes the usual suspects of the YR group: Ted Patterson, president of the YR and a candidate for state delegate as well as a candidate for county GOP committee; Zeauskas, vice president of the YR; Dawson, who has been the “political director” of YR; Carrie Taylor, a YR-er who recently took over as president of the county Republican Women’s club and is also running for county Treasurer; Joe Tropp, the “vice-chairman” of the new “Republicans of Cecil” (ROC) group that is hosted on the YR website and mirrors the membership of that group; and Michael W. Dunn, a co-founder of YR, the legislative aide to Del. Michael Smigiel (R-36) and also a current candidate in the GOP primary for County Commissioner in District 3.
Although he doesn’t meet the age-bracket of the YR-ers, County Commissioner James Mullin (R-1st) has signed up for the YR-led Central Committee slate. But he has said he “owes” the YR-ers for volunteering in his successful campaign two years ago. Mullin has also been firmly aligned with the Smigiel-Pipkin camp in the past. (But we ARE wondering what is going on on his Earleville front lawn, which in the past has always displayed huge Pipkin-Smigiel signs but so far this year is only posting small signs for Bob Ehrlich, a Kent County GOP candidate for Delegate, and a local GOP candidate for clerk of the court.)
Then there are the two “pick-ups” from the incumbent GOP Central Committee: James W. Hutchinson, currently secretary of the committee, and Brad Carrillo, a member.
The fact that the “tea party” folks who also filed as candidates for the GOP Central Committee were shunned by the new YR-led slate makes for some interesting dynamics in this emerging contest. That could lead the other incumbent committee members to court some of the five or six “tea party” candidates who filed for the committee, plus some of the ‘wild card’ candidates, if the remaining incumbents choose to form a slate.
One question that has yet to be answered: why are the YR-ers running for everything– state office, county elective office, and county GOP committee slots– simultaneously? Could it be that someone is channeling that famous line from the movie “Wall Street,” that is scheduled for a sequel to be released this fall?