Rhode Island Republican State Central Committee failed last night to elect a new Party Chair for the 2014 cycle. The vote was invalidated after one more vote was counted than there were delegates registered, despite double-checking systems.
According to outgoing Chair Mark Zaccaria, the crowd of delegates created a level of chaos at the meeting. And the race was close enough that each vote was crucial; contenders Dr. Daniel Harrop of Providence and Mr. Mark Smiley of Warren received 93 and 94 votes, respectively.
“It’s a little bit exhausting, frustrating that we couldn’t pass the gavel last night, but at the same it ultimately indicates something about the strength and enthusiasm of our party. And you know, everyone says ‘oh you couldn’t come to a decision,’ well it just really shows how involved our members are, and I think ultimately that’s a good thing.”
Zaccaria confirms a second vote to determine the new State Chair will be held on April 2nd at Shriners’ Hall in Cranston. The new Party Chair’s first major duty will be to attend the Republican National Committee meeting the second week of April.
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