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Mack ponder future as GOP chair
Mar 25, 2005 12:00 am
The ongoing feud between the Wilson County Republican Party and the West Wilson Republicans appears to have captured the attention of Nashville.
Wilson County Republican Party Chairman Kevin Mack explained Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Bob Davis recently invited him to Nashville for a meeting with GOP officials next week.
In an e-mail to local Republicans dated March 23, a copy of which was obtained by The Lebanon Democrat, Mack said he is concerned state officials may seek to remove him from his position as chairman of the county party because of his public efforts to repair a two-year-old rift between the two local GOP organizations.
Since assuming the leadership post with the county party earlier this year, Mack has repeatedly made his intentions to "reunify" the feuding GOP factions in Wilson County.
Earlier this week, Mack recommended both organizations meet with an impartial mediator to sort out their differences, which seem to center around the lack of a West Wilson Republican representative on the county party's executive committee and past conflicts between State Sen. Mae Beavers and State Rep. Susan Lynn.
Mack said Wednesday he is convinced members of the county Republican's executive committee encouraged Davis and other state GOP officials to meet with him March 29. Executive committee members, Mack contended, have not approved of his attempts to resolve the conflict through the press.
At a Monday meeting, the county party and West Wilson group agreed to meet again April 18 in a closed-door meeting to further discuss the issue, and Mack said he remains "very hopeful" the meeting will prove successful.
However, the March 29 meeting with Davis and party officials have raised Mack's concerns regarding the future of his role as chairman of the county party.
"It appears some of the (county party's) executive committee members have been calling the state party and complaining about me personally and how I'm handling the situation, particularly, my involvement of the press," Mack said. "They feel that getting the press involved was inappropriate, and that this was a fight – so to speak – that should've been kept in-house."
Mack noted his conversations with Davis have been pleasant, but added he feels he is being "called on the carpet" in regards to the county GOP chairmanship.
Still, Davis said such is not the case and explained the state party regularly requests to meet with the chairpersons of county parties.
"We want to win elections," Davis said. "We're going to maintain what we have in the State Senate (and) add to it, hopefully. We're going to focus on taking the House. We're going to focus on making sure we retain (Sen.) Bill Frist's seat (and) put up a candidate against (Gov.) Phil Bredesen. … You've got to keep your eye on the bull's eye. We're not interested in he said/she said stuff. We're interested in one thing, and that's to win elections."
Staff Writer Brian Harville can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 16 or by e-mail at email@example.com.