Heading into the gubernatorial election, the leadership in the Butler County GOP will remain the same as it has been for the past four months.
Despite challenges for Executive Committee Chairman Todd Hall and Central Committee Chairwoman Judy Shelton, they were re-elected to their respective seats Wednesday night at the county Republican Party’s re-organizational meeting at Tori’s Station.
Hall received a challenge from local businessman Dan Wheeler, but garnered 57 percent of the recently elected Central Committee members that voted. Shelton, who was challenged by Nancy Riggs, received 58 percent of the vote.
“I love the party, I want to work for the party, I want to serve the party,” said Hall to the nearly 300 people in attendance. “Ever since I’ve been knee high, at the dinner table, if I did something wrong my grandfather, (former county GOP chairman Carlos Todd), would look at me and say, ‘Don’t act like a Democrat.’ ”
For decades, Butler County has been dominated by Republicans in countywide offices and most of the locally elected offices. Only one countywide position — juvenile court Judge Kathleen Romans — is held by a member of the Democratic Party.
Last year the Journal-News reported the fiscal troubles of the Butler County Republican Party, but Hall said under his leadership during the past four months the course has changed.
“I’ve worked my butt off for this party with countless hours on the phone, countless hours on email, working hard for this party and putting money into the bank, working on a lawsuit to get rid of in this party,” he said.
The party was sued by Bridgewater Falls for breach of contract when it moved out of its space and broke its lease. The lawsuit was served to the party the day before former chairman Dave Kern resigned. Hall said he and others in the party negotiated a settlement that allowed the GOP to move back into its office space at the Fairfield Twp. mall.
Details of the lawsuit hadn’t been released, but Hall told the members of the party he helped negotiate a $5,000 settlement with Bridgewater Falls, and mall officials dropped the lawsuit. He also reduced the $3,000 a month lease down to around $2,000 a month for the remainder of the lease that ends this December.
The Butler County Democratic Party held its re-organizational meeting Monday at the UAW Hall in Fairfield where the party re-elected its executive chair, Jocelyn Bucaro, and elected Bruce Carter as its Central Committee chair.