Letter to the Editor: Thoughts on Effort to Remove County Republicans Chairman


I attended the July 11 meeting convened to vote on Lewis County Republicans Chairman Brandon Svenson's recall. In the 15 months I have attended the Republican meetings, starting after the questionable 2020 election, Brandon has raised citizen attendance immensely, appointed many new precinct committee officers (PCOs), brought in multiple speakers, helped raise money for the party and earned my constant respect.

The only time I saw him display his temper was in responding to Tracy Murphy's provoking comments that bad things were said about him during the campaign. This while Murphy was videoing, had a media statement prepared and the anti-Brandon faction of the board had all oddly called in sick, leaving Brandon to respond alone.

When many PCOs requested that Lewis County Republicans endorse Joe Kent, for which there is a valid procedure in the bylaws, Ruth Peterson was openly hostile during the discussion. Since that time, the split between the long-time PCOs and, my own description, the new America First members, has widened. As Karla Askew, head of recruitment, brought in more new members, all talk about electing good Republican candidates was replaced with letters and plans to get rid of Brandon.

Similar to the recent campaign mailers attacking Joe Kent from a Republican PAC, it looks like the Republican uniparty is fighting to stay in power.

On that Monday, our group of citizens waited outside the Eagles while the board "purified" the votes. They ejected new PCOs who they said were not appointed correctly, though the board itself had interviewed them and at least one had previously voted. Then, having attained the necessary votes, the committee approved new rules; elected a new chairman to vote, by proxy, to remove Brandon; and waived Brandon's right to rebuttal since he was not present.

Only the strong opposition of a group of PCOs questioning the legality of the committee's actions stopped the kangaroo court, and the board adjourned. Is this our own Lewis County Jan. 6 committee?

I noticed one of the vote counters portrayed conspicuously in The Chronicle photo was someone I talked to while I was hunting for the Lewis County Republican Party 15 months ago (the website still lists their location as the Eagles). After being passed through three PCOs who said they had not attended in years (they are no longer PCOs), this person impatiently told me citizens need to stay out of politics and let the people who understand politics decide which candidate is best.

I, most definitely, do not need someone, no matter what political position they hold, to make up my mind on whom I want to represent me in government. For example, I don't need politicians who vote for a thousand-page omnibus bill so all of them get a piece of the pork for their district and our country spends itself into oblivion. I trust strong people like my PCO, Karla Askew, like Brandon, and like Joe Kent who work to make our country better and not just flaunt their power. I'll make up my own mind.


Linda Clark