Knox GOP Demands Justification from Candidates at Monday's Forum

The Knox County Republican Party had their official candidates forum tonight making it the first gathering of local Republican candidates since the recent bylaws change passed by the SEC.

These bylaws changes raised the bar for what constitutes a “bona fide Republican,” effectively raising the requirement to be considered for the Republican nomination and giving the state party leadership more oversight and control of the nomination process.

It’s long been thought that these bylaws changes are written to keep candidates like Glenn Jacobs, Don Ridings, Charlie Susano, Larsen Jay, and others from getting on the ballot as Republicans.

The abnormal thing about the meeting was the fact that the local GOP leadership demanded all the candidates stand and state why they're qualified to be Republicans according to the new bylaws. The tone of the meeting and the nature by which it was conducted ruffled some feathers.

Remember, the Republican party is a private institution and, as such, have the ability to exclude any candidate they want from seeking the nomination. Don't be under the illusion their process of candidate nomination is democratic. As you can see, the GOP establishment is working very hard to fight an open and transparent process.

Notable points in the event:

  • Don Riding’s abstention and outright refusal to stand up and beg for the nomination.
  • Vito Sagliano's comments on the bylaw changes.
  • Former GOP Chair Ruthie Kuhlman’s concerns about the exclusionary nature of the process and the elitist attitudes of the leadership.

However, there were several great comments made by several different candidates and individuals. Don’t take my word for it, I think the video speaks for itself:

ArticleJoshua Eakle