Party Leadership Calls For Change: Demand For Active Leadership
In a stunning turn of events, former Andover State Representative Jim Lyons resoundingly defeated the current State Republican Party Treasurer, Brent Anderson, in the election for state party chairman.
Before a packed audience of onlookers and with 77 of the 80 Republican State Committee members present and voting, Jim Lyons garnered 47 votes to Anderson’s 30. In his campaign address, Lyons emphasized his willingness to take the fight to the corrupt Democratic Party establishment in the state, while at the same time committing himself to build party unity.
Perhaps most telling was the statement made by State Committee member Rachel Kemp, during her nomination speech for Lyons, when she declared that state committee members were not a collection of “functionaries” but were Republicans, who deeply care about the state of their party and their state government. She called upon the committee members to move in a new direction and accept the energetic leadership that Lyons could offer.
Anderson emphasized his involvement in major state campaigns, as a campaign worker, during the past ten years, in particularly his ties to Lieutenant Governor Karen Polito’s campaigns.
The election was a clear rejection of the State Party’s current leadership, following the disastrous showing in last November’s election.
Kirsten Hughes, the previous party chair, handed the gavel over to Jim Lyons immediately following his victory. Hughes had served as chair for the past six years. She chose not to run for another term in order to take a job with the Baker Administration.
While Lyons was cordial to the Governor in his remarks, his election was viewed by many as a clear separation of the party leadership from the Baker Administration.