Norfolk GOP has long held its Saturday morning breakfasts in a side room at Charlie’s American Cafe on Granby street. Not anymore. The group has been banned from the restaurant after nasty arguments, obscenities, threats of fights, pushing and shoving happened at their meeting on Saturday morning. Owner of the restaurant Ted Warren said,
“We’re a family-friendly place. The f-bombs were flying, from the very beginning it was ‘keep your voices down.’ Other customers could hear it. We were packed.”
It seems the argument was centered around a young campaign professional, Cole Trower, who wants to run for a leadership position in Norfolk GOP. Tom Cherry, the current Chairman of the group sought rule changes for their convention next month. From the Pilotonline.com:
The Saturday rift also was fueled by another disagreement between Cherry and GOP campaign professional Cole Trower, who wants to be elected to the city GOP’s board. Cherry had unsuccessfully sought a rule change recently that would bar anyone who was paid to work on a campaign in the previous six months from being elected chairman or vice chairman.
Cherry denied it was aimed at Trower, who argued it was.
The two got into an argument, witnesses said, in part because Cherry was showing a flyer after the meeting that noted Trower, 25, had been arrested in 2014 and pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and assault while a student at James Madison University. Trower said Monday the charges were related to drunken behavior when he tried to re-enter a party.
Cherry said it was fair to bring up the arrest because he was being attacked: “When you’re thrown a punch, you throw one back.”
The convention rules were also changed to raise the filing fee for candidates from $100 to $500. Cherry’s group also wanted to begin the convention on a weeknight at 6:00 pm. Later they agreed to a 7:00 start time.
The argument between Cherry and Tower devolved into the group yelling profanities, men shoving each other and threatening fisticuffs.
More on the melee here.
Another fracas involving Cole Trower here.
UPDATE: Cole Trower is not just running to be on the executive board of the Norfolk Republican Committee, he’s running for Chairman.