Through a party meeting that was loudly and angrily contested from beginning to end, Lucas County Republican Party Chairman Jon Stainbrook proved his mastery of the process by winning re-election as party chairman Wednesday night.
Mr. Stainbrook, 50, a musician and freelance writer, was re-elected to a fourth consecutive term over Bill Delaney, 73, a retired bar owner.
“They knew they didn’t have the votes so they just wanted to cause a ruckus,” said Mr. Stainbrook after the meeting in the Premier banquet hall on Heatherdowns Boulevard. “I’m just very grateful that I was given this opportunity.”
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Mr. Delaney said his side will continue to try to oust Mr. Stainbrook, or possibly create an alternative Lucas County Republican organization. “We have our own clubs that we will work on and blow them out of the water,” Mr. Delaney said. “When we start pulling money, we’ll push our own candidates, and then let’s see how they turn over.”
The biennial meeting is required by state law after the election of a new county central committee, of one member for each precinct, which was held May 6.
Of about 266 central committee members elected, Mr. Stainbrook’s operatives collected the signatures that put 213 of them on the ballot, giving him an unassailable majority.
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Over angry points of order from Delaney supporters, Meghan Gallagher, as temporary chairman, pushed through the agenda early in the meeting, at one point asking, “is there any discussion,” and then proceeding without a second’s delay to declare over the commotion that none was heard.
Opponents of Mr. Stainbrook objected to Ms. Gallagher’s presence at the dais because she had been defeated in her re-election bid to the central committee on May 6. They also objected to the Stainbrook side’s decision to elect ward chairs as selected by Mr. Stainbrook.
Precinct members generally have elected their own ward chairmen, but Mr. Stainbrook said the bylaws dictated the election of ward-chair slates.
Whatever the reason for the change, the move may give Mr. Stainbrook more control of the suburban Republican Party in western Lucas County where his most persistent opponents tend to be.
Delaney supporters left in small groups or one by one, including a woman who was hustled out by security personnel.
City Councilman Rob Ludeman was one of those who didn’t stay for the final vote for chairman.
“I didn’t feel as a public official I should be a part of it. The anarchy that was taking place there it really was a ridiculous scene, and I didn’t want to be a part of it,” he said, adding that he wants to know the cost to the party of the security guards.
Mr. Stainbrook said security was hired at the request of the banquet hall owners.
Stainbrook supporter Jennifer Glendening said she was disgusted by the behavior of the Delany faction.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Ms. Glendening, 40, of South Toledo, who has been through two previous central committee reorganizations. “It’s childish. If this is how Delaney runs it, then I’m glad he got booted out of this.”