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Oxford Mayoral Race: Local GOP Chair Openly Supported Dem

June 3, 2009
tags: 2009 municipal, Howie Morgan, Ken McCullough, Lew Yoder, Mississippi GOP
by Brett

Earlier this morning, I took interest in this picture that appeared on the Save the GOP blog. This picture showed the house of Lafayette County GOP Chairman Lew Yoder with yard signs for Democrat mayoral candidate Pat Patterson.

Howie Morgan, campaign manager for Ken McCullough- the GOP candidate for mayor, e-mailed me to let me know that it was in fact true that Yoder supported Patterson, and it was certainly out in the open. According to Morgan, Yoder said Patterson was “like a second father to me.”

Morgan did not necessarily take issue just with Yoder supporting a Democrat, but with the fact that he did not step down from his post as head of the county party. “In the past whenever someone on the local GOP Committee in Oxford was going to openly support a Democrat, they demanded that the member submit a temporary leave of absence…I should know, as I did that twice,” said Morgan. “But this time Lew gave himself a pass on that motion. Maybe Lew skipped that Ethics class in law school regarding conflict of interest?”

Also, it looks like state GOP chairman Brad White- who has sent resources to recruit candidates in Lafayette County in the past- was in the know on this and gave Yoder a pass.

Morgan also said that Yoder cancelled all local party fundraisers, gave less PAC money to candidates than they received in 2005, and demanded that no local executive committee members support the Republican candidate. Further, Ole Miss Basketball Coach Andy Kennedy held a fundraiser, yet no executive committee members showed up and only two of those members donated to McCullough. “Can you imagine Kennedy making that bold a public stance for the GOP and NOT getting GOP support,” Morgan asked.

According to Morgan, Yoder hid his support for Patterson until another GOP candidate spotted the Democrat’s signs in his yard about a month ago. They had two sit down meetings and several phone calls- including one instance where Morgan offered internal polling to Yoder- when they believed Yoder was on their side, but was really supporting Patterson.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Doloroso permalink
    June 3, 2009 3:23 pm

    Wait a minute. He “hid his support” until someone saw the yardsigns? Give me a break.

    Also, Howie Morgan should know that first there is no
    rule about stepping down if you support a Democrat. Republicans aren’t like Ike Brown and demand purity. Second of all, Yoder is County Chairman and this was a municipal race. Maybe Yoder is the Municipal Chairman, too. I don’t know. But regardless there isn’t a rule about it.

    All this sounds like sour grapes.

    • From North MS permalink
      June 3, 2009 5:59 pm

      I don’t think Howie Morgan was saying that there is a rule, other than that it is good form. After all, he said he’s done it himself to support Democrats.

      I agree Republicans shouldn’t demand purity- but you think party officials would either support the party candidate or step aside.

  2. Matt permalink
    June 4, 2009 12:06 am

    The main job of a party chair is to work to elect candidates of that party. This is pretty simple. It’s the one job where you are actually supposed to “vote for the party, not the candidate” if you will. Yoder has every right as a voter to support and vote for Patterson–but should not have done so while serving as the elected GOP chairman of the county where the race was. That is the ultimate “conflict of interest”.

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  1. Save the GOP » Blog Archive » McCullough Loses, Oxford GOP Chair Lew Yoder: Traitor in Our Ranks?

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