As first reported to FortThomasMatters on August 12 by sources close to the situation, the Republican Party of Kentucky officially rejected the "Campbell County Conservatives" group attempt to take over the county's party leadership. The group's main contention was that the "malfeasance, nonfeasance and misfeasance."
The decision handed down by the executive committee, headed by Chairman Steve Robertson, came down to one question: was the Campbell County executive committee, reorganized in 2012, legitimately elected and organized? Around 35 executive committee members from around the state answered that question in the affirmative.
In a letter sent to members of the "Campbell County Conservatives" by Robertson, he indicated that he and the executive committee met on August 19. "We respectfully ask that you not hold yourselves out as the "Campbell County Republican Party" or anything similar. Unfortunately those efforts, however sincere, will potentially create confusion during what we can all agree is a very crucial time for our party," said Robertson.
Larry Robinson, the former Tea Party leader in Campbell County who organized the coup still believes the case for the new group leadership is solid. "A solid group of Conservative Republicans decided it was time to change the leadership of the Campbell County GOP, we reviewed the RPK rules, sent out the required notifications, had the required meetings, voted to remove the old leadership, elected new leadership, filed the required paperwork to the RPK. The RPK through a phone conference decided they were going to stick with the existing group," said Robinson.
"We have the support of a large number of Campbell County Republicans and we will continue our plan to help elect Republicans to Campbell County elected office. All Republicans are welcomed to our meetings, we have people willing to walk, make phone calls, and send out campaign literature for the candidates, our meetings are open for all present to discuss the current issues."
As a result of the decision made by the RPK, Deb Sheldon, the appointed Vice-Chairmain of the newly-formed group, resigned her position. "When I agreed to serve as vice-chair of the newly elected Campbell County Republican Party Committee, it was with the understanding that the vote to oust the current executive committee would stand," said Sheldon in her resignation letter. "As a lifelong strong conservative Republican, my only goal was to promote the Republican party in Campbell County… I do not see any value in continuing to divide the party, especially during election season."
The next opportunity Campbell County Republicans will have to elect a new executive committee will be in 2016. Until then, it's unlikely that the "Campbell County Conservatives" and the rest of the county GOP will unite under a banner of solidarity, regardless of what the state-wide party asks of them. The feud between the "CCC" and the current Campbell County executive committee is deep-seeded.
In a letter sent to FTM, the current Campbell County Republican Chairman, Jeff Kidwell, said, "We feel sorry for the innocent people that have been misled by this clandestine act of selfishness and self-promotion. That’s not what we are about in Campbell County.We expect our members to follow the rules and support our general election candidates if they want to serve in leadership - nothing more, nothing less. Our executive committee welcomes the opportunity to get this behind us and work with those that want to move forward and understand the rules."