On Thursday, May 9, 2019 the Hanover County Republican Committee held a meeting, called by Chairwoman Dale Taylor. There were 62 voting members, and 18 proxies, in attendance to the meeting.
After speeches by candidates running for local office, a motion was made to direct Ms. Taylor to replace representative Mike Reynold as the Representative to the 97th Legislative District Committee (LDC). Various reasons were given to Chairwoman Taylor during the discussion, including a vote of 10 to 1 of the Executive Committee to replace Mr. Reynold.
Ms. Taylor called the motion out of order citing her authority to appoint the representative to the LDC. As a point of clarification, I stated the motion was being made to direct the Chairwoman to replace Mr. Reynold.
An overwhelming majority of the members of the Hanover County Republican Committee want to see Mr. Reynold replaced. While it may be the authority of the Unit Chair to appoint this position under the authority granted by the State Party Plan of the Republican Party of Virginia, many members of the committee feel strongly she needs to immediately replace Mr. Reynold, who is not even a member of the Committee and is a vocal Chris Peace supporter.
Given the chaos created by Ms. Taylor’s last minute appointment of Reynold, and the deliberate efforts to stack the deck in favor of Chris Peace (with help from the Republican Party of Virginia), it has become clear that Ms. Taylor’s efforts to support one candidate over another in the 97th District have alienated the membership of the Hanover County Republican Committee.
Ms. Taylor continued to call the motion out of order, but her ruling was overruled by a supermajority of the body. Robert’s Rules of Order calls for a two-thirds vote of the body to overrule the Chair and the vote count far exceeded the 2/3 required. The subsequent vote on the underlying motion (to direct the chair to replace Mr. Reynold) passed with an overwhelming majority.
The motion to direct the Chair to replace Reynold included a three-day period where the Executive Committee would vote on a recommended replacement. We will discuss this replacement in the coming days and provide Ms. Taylor with our recommendation.
The most contentious part of the meeting came when the Committee voted, once again by an overwhelming majority, in favor of delaying a vote on new membership until the following meeting in June. I made that motion, which was supported by the entire Executive Committee in attendance (except Ms. Taylor), and it was not an easy motion to make. However, there was a deliberate attempt after April 28th—the date when the removal process of Ms. Taylor began—to flood the Committee with new members. It seemed clear that the goal was to save Ms. Taylor from being removed because she has lost the support of a strong majority in the Committee. In fact, Chris Peace’s own staffer sent out an email signed as his “Chief of Staff” (a state employee, by the way), stating, “We need to join the Hanover GOP and make sure our friend, Dale Taylor, is not ousted as the Chair,” before launching into a tirade and insinuating members of the Hanover Republican Committee have behaved like “children.”
Well over the required one-third of the Committee signed a petition to remove Ms. Taylor, which include a number of elected officials from our County. Delaying a vote on new membership is not popular, nor is it the ideal way to conduct Committee business, but it was necessary based on the situation. The Executive Committee felt that since the removal process is based on a membership total, we should hold off on adding new members until the process of the removal hearing was complete.
I stand by my decision to put forth the motion. Only members of the Committee as of April 28th should litigate this issue with Ms. Taylor. The motion to delay the membership vote passed, again, by an overwhelming majority, although there were plenty of fireworks during the discussion on the issue. I do sincerely hope the flood of new member candidates we saw last night will be back in June after we have a vote on removing Ms. Taylor on May 29th. In fact, I’ll be the first to make the motion to accept those new members, should they decide they actually want to be involved in our Committee.
Finally, the meeting was adjourned, with a motion made for the next meeting to be held on May 29th at 7:00 PM at the Hanover County Administration Building, for the specified purpose of removing Chairwoman Taylor from her position per the State Party Plan of the Republican Party of Virginia. The 30-day process for Chairwoman Taylor’s removal began on April 28th and requires a two-thirds vote of the membership.