On Saturday morning (Dec 15, 2018), the Pima County GOP Executive Committee (ExCom) Elections were held.
The nomination committee consisted of 5 members nominated by the ExCom which served prior to the election. The committee did not receive much instruction or guidance; however, it managed to get a list of candidates back to Pima County GOP who had submitted their letters of intent on time – people the committee felt were likely qualified to run for the positions. The expectation was that the Pima County GOP would validate that list against the list of elected precinct committeemen prior to publishing the list of candidates. After the call letter for the meeting was sent out, a legal position about “appointed PCs” was clarified and it was determined that the candidate for Treasurer was not eligible because he was not an elected PC.
There were two “slates” of candidates for all the positions which consisted of Chairman, 1st vice chair, 2nd vice chair, 3rd vice chair, 4th vice chair, secretary,treasurer and 5 member at large positions. One slate represented the current chairman and mostly those currently in the positions with a couple exceptions.The other slate represented alternatives all the positions with many familiar faces – people other precinct committeeman mostly knew.
A number of PCs attended the meeting, and some of those who could not attend provided their signed, notarized and witnessed proxy to someone else in their precinct, but even with some people carrying proxies, not all Pima county PCs were represented for this important vote. A PC carrying an unlimited number of proxies can yield the power of a large voting block and this is something that has been debated even at the state level when Arizona Chairman Jonathon Lines won his seat with a large number of proxies of PCs which had not been active in the state party.
During the meeting, the gentleman conducting the meeting read off the names of the candidates for each office, asked three times from any nominations from the floor, closed the nominations, and finally gave each candidate in alphabetical order an opportunity to speak for 3 minutes to speak on their behalf. The chairman candidates were supposed to be given 5 minutes,but there was a question about the length of time Eppihimer was given to speak – he thought he was only given 3 minutes to speak. The time keeper indicted he was given his full time and the meeting continued.
An issue was raised during the nominating process which involved some legislative districts (LD) prohibiting their LD ExCom members from serving on the Pima County ExCom. After a period of debate and not being able provide the specific reference in the LD Bylaws, it was decided to move forward with the election with the understanding if someone needed to step down due to a conflict with LD bylaws – so be it.
There was a hot debate about a requirement which indicated that anyone who was being nominated from the floor was required to provide 196 copies of their bio prior to the meeting (attributed to the nomination committee) – which was largely seen as a way to tamp down competition. One side argued that because the statement was in the call letter for the meeting, it must be followed, but the nomination committee stood up and clarified that requirement did not come from the nomination committee and also noted that with a rule like that it would not be practical to run from the floor.
In addition to the candidates being considered, there were a few bylaw changes being voted on and an issued was raised about not having access to a document showing the change in language being voted on. The expectation was apparently to vote on the changes based on an “overview” of the changes being discussed by the chairman of the bylaws committee. Only one measure failed to pass which involved the process to remove members of the Pima County ExCom.
The winners of the election are:
Chairman – David Eppihimer
1st Vice Chair – Chris King
2 nd Vice Chair – Lee Cornelison
3 rd Vice Chair – Mary Preble
4th Vice Chair – Susan Smith
Secretary – Bobbie Jo King
Treasure – Alex Deley
Member At large – Kuuleme Stephens
Member At large – Dylan Boswell
Member At large – Daniel Seifried
Member At large – Ophelia Parker
Member At large – Dean Andersen
There are several ways this process can be improved, and they all start with you – get involved and make your voice heard.Become a precinct committeeman today and be the change you want to bring to Pima County!