All Politics is Local

Former GOP chair calls on activists to sidestep county party in 2020 elections

Clark County Republican Party Chair Earl Bowerman beat back an attempt to recall him by disaffected members of his party on Tuesday. But that doesn’t mean the party’s infighting will stop. It could instead continue into next year’s hotly contested state and federal elections. 

On Tuesday, a meeting of the party’s precinct committee officers adjourned without considering a recall petition against Bowerman, a victory for the chair who was elected in January. 

Shortly after the meeting, David Gellatly, the previous chair of the party, sent out an email to other Republicans with the subject: “Please Stay Involved and Help Clark County Republicans Win in 2020!”  Writing that “elections have consequences,” Gellatly concluded that Bowerman was likely to continue the remainder of his term because a third of the party’s precinct committee officers didn’t show up on Tuesday. 

“However, I would like to offer encouragement to everyone,” wrote Gellatly. 

The county Republican Party exists to help elect candidates with R’s next to their names to office. But Gellatly wrote that the “county party is not a major deciding factor in elections, although it can be extremely helpful for our candidates” and that there other avenues for Republicans to keep involved in electoral politics:

For the next year, we are working directly with the WA State GOP & Trump 2020 here in Clark County, for all of our Republican officials. This will not be associated with the local county group and will be dedicated to welcoming all new volunteers and growing our movement. 

Many of you attended the ACTIVATE event and are aware of the great things we are working towards. There will be many more and we can all work towards our common goals and agenda together. Please stay involved in making a difference locally and for our state. Please bring your friends and neighbors to our next event. When the true Republican majority shows up, a small group will no longer be able to manipulate the processes. We must grow bigger, bolder and brighter than their disruptions and simply not give them any further attention. They will only cause embarrassment for our county and 2020 will come soon enough.

Gellatly also noted that in May 2020, the registration for precinct committee officers will be due and “we need to fill every seat.”

When reached for comment, Bowerman dismissed Gellaty’s email as “grandstanding”

“I think you’ll find that the substance of that statement is shallow,” said Bowerman. He also stressed that the party under his leadership has done a better job of managing large fine assessed against it by the attorney general.