By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily
The Uinta County Republican Party did nothing wrong when it allowed party officers to vote in an annual election for party leaders, according to the Wyoming Republican Party.
The Wyoming GOP Central Committee rejected a complaint filed by Jon Conrad against the elections held in March to elect new leadership for the county party.
Conrad alleged officers in the county’s party were allowed to vote in the election even though such action is not allowed under state law.
But the Wyoming Republican Party’s Central Committee, during a meeting May 4, disagreed with Conrad’s position, voting 48-2 to accept the results of a party investigation that showed no party rules or state laws had been violated.
“The (State Central Committee) voted … in favor of accepting the conclusions of the Investigative Committee that state and Uinta County bylaws both authorize county officers to vote on matters before the county central committee and neither the information provided nor the Wyoming statutes cited supported Mr. Conrad’s assertion,” the state party said in a prepared statement on its website.
The challenge stems from a dispute over the election of party officers during the county central committee meeting March 16.
A county central committee is made up of people elected from a county to serve as a committeeman or committeewoman. That group elects a county party chairman and a man and woman to serve as members of the state central committee.
According to a lawsuit filed against the Uinta County Republican Party, the county’s central committee has 36 members, but 40 people were allowed to cast votes. The lawsuit alleged the four extra voters were not precinct committee men or women, having lost their efforts to win those posts in the last primary election.
The lawsuit also alleged the four voters cast votes for themselves to serve in the county party’s top positions, which they now hold.
The dispute led to a formal complaint being filed with the attorney general’s office in addition to the Wyoming Republican Party. The attorney general’s office declined to take up the issue.
Action on the lawsuit is pending in state district court.
According to the GOP’s statement, four state central committee members abstained from voting on the Investigative Committee’s report. The four were not identified.