(Hillsdale) There’s been a change of leadership in the Hillsdale County Republican Party, as members voted Thursday night to remove the slate of officers who attempted a coup within the party in recent weeks…

Twenty members of the local GOP Executive Committee held a special meeting at Olivia’s Chophouse in Jonesville…They voted unanimously to remove secretary Jon Smith, parliamentarian John Rutan, chair Darren Wisely, vice-chair Lance Lashaway, treasurer Josh Gritzmaker and deputy treasurer Belle Stier…

The move by the party’s old guard comes after the officers, who had taken control of the party over the past couple of years, attempted to disavow several longstanding members and strip them of their precinct delegate status… 

The Michigan GOP determined the move was a violation of the party’s rules…GOP officials said the vote to disavow the precinct delegates was held during what amounted to a secret meeting of the far-right leadership on July 28th…

A new slate of officers was elected at last night’s special meeting–they include chairman Brent Leininger, vice chair Penny Swan, secretary Marney Kast, treasurer Kathy Schmitt vice treasurer Bambi Somerlott and parliamentarian Neal Brady…

Leininger told WCSR News he expects a challenge to last night’s vote…

He said a challenge could be made through the Michigan GOP or via a lawsuit…

During a similar dispute among members of the Macomb County Republican Party, the state GOP sided with longstanding members of the party–While a court came down on the side of ultra-conservative members who had attempted a similar takeover of leadership…                          

 

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