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Palm Coast Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015 3 years ago

Flagler County Republican Club 'back in business,' leadership says

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The Republican Party of Florida has reinstated the club's charter, which the Flagler County Republican Executive Committee had refused to renew.
by: Jonathan Simmons News Editor

The Flagler County Republican Club's charter has been reinstated by the Republican Party of Florida, clearing the club to begin operating immediately, the club's leadership announced in an Oct. 8 news release.

"I want people to know that we are the Big Tent Republicans, and welcome all registered Republicans to join with us," Flagler County Republican Club President Wesley Priest said in the news release. "We follow the Party rules and support the Republican Party, representing all Republicans. The Republican Party of Florida agrees, and we have now been rechartered. We are happy to be back and anxious to help the Flagler Republican Party and its Republican candidates win the next election."

The club will hold its first post-reinstatement meeting Nov. 4.

The Flagler County Republican Club and the Republican Club of Palm Coast both shut down March 31 after the Flagler County Republican Executive Committee, headed by former Palm Coast City Council candidate Anne-Marie Shaffer, notified both groups that the REC would not renew their charters. 

The clubs’ dissolution occurred in the context of a conflict between the Ronald Reagan Republican Assembly of Flagler County, which now dominates the county's Republican Executive Committee, and competing local Republican clubs.

"The club's charter was not renewed as a result of a leadership change in the Flagler County Republican Executive Committee, which has the authority to grant or deny local club charters,"  a Flagler County Republican Club representative wrote in the Oct. 8 news release.

Shaffer, a Ronald Reagan Republican, was elected to chair the local Republican Executive Committee Dec. 17, 2014, and sent a letter of nonrenewal to the Flagler County Republican Club in February 2015.

The Flagler County Republic Club appealed to the Republican Party of Florida for reinstatement of its charter. The Republican Club of Palm Coast did not, former Republican Club of Palm Coast vice president Susie Moya said. 

Instead, members of that group formed two new organizations, neither of which falls under the Republican Executive Committee's authority: the Flagler Federated Republican Women, of which Moya is a spokeswoman, and the Flagler/Palm Coast Forum.

"We’re going to be a full service group," Moya said of the Flagler Federated Republican Women. "We are completely separate and distinct from anything that has gone heretofore in Flagler County. ... We feel that we have the opportunity to provide a big-tent, open group for people in the Republican Party who wanted to be active in the Republican Party and have felt left behind, for whatever reason."

The Flagler Federated Republican Women, chaired by Gail Wadsworth, the county clerk of court, held its formal launch at a Sept. 23 meting of the Flagler/Palm Coast Forum. It accepts men as non-voting, associate members, and will have booths at the Creekside Festival Oct. 10-11 at the Princess Place Preserve.

The following is a news release issued by the Flagler County Republican Club Oct. 8:

Back in Business...
 
The Flagler County Republican Club has been rechartered by the Republican Party of Florida, effective immediately said Flagler County Republican Club President, Wesley Priest.
 
An appeal was filed on behalf of the club and it's members directly to the Republican Party of Florida who worked with our team over the summer to consider the request for reinstatement.
 
"I wish to thank our officers and board for working hard with our Republican party leaders over the past four months to help our club to accomplish this," said Priest. "The FCRC had been active in Flagler County continuously for the past 20 years and has always worked in support of the Republican Party and it's candidates," he said.
 
The club's charter was not renewed as a result of a leadership change in the Flagler County Republican Executive Committee which has the authority to grant or deny local club charters. The Palm Coast Republican Club was also denied a recharter earlier this year.
 
"I want people to know that we are the Big Tent Republicans and welcome all registered Republicans to join with us," said Priest in a press release. "We follow the Party rules and support the Republican Party, representing all Republicans. The Republican Party Of Florida agrees and we have now been rechartered. We are happy to be back and anxious to help the Flagler Republican Party and it's Republican candidates win the next election," said Priest.
 
The club is looking forward to resuming it's activities in Flagler County and welcomes new and returning members to the club said Priest.  Our next regular FCRC meeting will be November 4th. Watch the Palm Coast Observer for the notice.

For more information on meetings and volunteer opportunities visit flaglergop.org or go to their Facebook page: Flagler County Republican Club. Send requests for information to FCRC, P.O. Box 351815, Palm Coast Florida 32137.”

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