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Butler County Republicans to hold reorganization meeting Sept. 25

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The Butler County Republican Committee is set to hold its reorganization meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 25, at the Succop Theater on the campus of Butler County Community College.

At the meeting, the Butler County Republican Committee will elect its new county chairman, vice chairman and other officials under the guidance of Jesse Daniel, a designee of Lawrence Tabas, the state Republican Party chairman.

“I have been designated by Lawrence Tabas, Esq., the chairman of the Republican Party of Pennsylvania, as his designee to conduct a reorganization meeting of the Butler County Republican Committee (Butler County GOP),” Daniel said in a Sept. 15 letter, which was obtained Thursday by the Butler Eagle.

Daniel is an attorney based in Indiana County.

The reorganization meeting comes after the PA GOP ruled former party chairman Gary Vanasdale could no longer lead the Butler County Republican Committee. This ruling was due, in part, to a perceived conflict of interest stemming from his wife’s campaign for county District Attorney.

Jennifer Gilliland Vanasdale is running as an independent candidate against Republican incumbent Richard Goldinger.

In their decision from Sept. 8, the PA GOP cited 19 complaints from Butler County party members, as well as a potential conflict of interest stemming from Vanasdale’s wife Jennifer Gilliland Vanasdale’s decision to run for Butler County district attorney as an independent candidate against incumbent Republican Richard Goldinger.

“Given the facts and circumstances, Gary has an insurmountable conflict with his role as Chair of the BCRC and the November 2023 election for county District Attorney,” the letter, written by Tabas, said.

Vanasdale took a temporary leave of absence from his position starting Aug. 26, leaving Chet Jack to take over as acting chairman, and separately changing the group’s name to the Butler GOP. The Tabas letter also deemed Jack’s move to acting chairman as unacceptable.

“I'm looking forward to Monday night so we can leave the past in the past and start afresh,” said Cindy Hildebrand, Chicora committee member. “Republicans in this committee are all to blame, to a point, for what has happened, and we need to remember that we all need to work together for the Republican cause.”

Hildebrand added that with recent infighting, the Butler GOP had let down the estimated 77,880 registered Republican voters of Butler County.

Gary Vanasdale, Chet Jack and former vice chairperson Terri Fuellgraf issued a joint statement expressing disdain for the meeting.

“The reorganizational meeting is a sham,” the statement read. “It is a closed-door meeting orchestrated by the establishment to try to organize non-establishment members and leaders out of the committee. In fact, the ‘reorganizing’ Republicans are rearranging deck chairs across the Commonwealth behind closed doors as they desperately try to maintain power and the status quo against the people. They are united only to protect Republican incumbents and their chosen candidates at all costs, without regard for the people and community.”

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