(Photo by Sarah Richardson)
State Party Chairwoman Melody Potter (center) cuts the ribbon in front of the new Republican campaign headquarters surrounded by local Republican candidates.The Greenbrier County Republican Club and Greenbrier County Executive Committee held a ribbon cutting ceremony at their new party headquarters in downtown Lewisburg on Tuesday, Sept. 18. The new office is located in the American Legion building across from City National Bank. Many party members were in attendance, and candidates had the opportunity to say a few words following the ribbon cutting.
Those in attendance included State Party Chairwoman Melody Potter, Denise Morrisey (wife of Attorney General Patrick Morrisey), George “Boogie” Ambler, Denny Canterbury, and Steve Malcomb. Patrick Morrisey is running for U.S. Senate, Carol Miller is running for the U.S. House, George Ambler is running for the Senate representing the 10th District, and Denny Canterbury and Steve Malcomb are running for the House to represent the 42nd District.
Also attending were Greenbrier County Commissioners Lowell Rose and Mike McClung, welcoming their fellow commissioner and newest member of the Republican party, Woody Hanna. All three commissioners are now members of the same party.
The website for Greenbrier County says nothing about a potential conflict of interest as far as majority party representations go. According to Greenbrier County Clerk Robin Loudermilk, “It’s always been possible for the same party to be elected to all three seats on the commission at any time, since it’s up to the voters of Greenbrier County.”
Earlier this week Hanna announced that he had changed parties after being registered as a Democrat for the past 47 years. He now plans to spearhead his own write-in campaign. This change was spurred by his loss in the primary election to the other Democratic nominee, Tammy Shifflett-Tincher.
“It was a difficult choice for me,” said Hanna, “I registered as a Democrat when I was 18 years old. This wasn’t an easy decision”
Hanna said that he felt “deserted” by the Democratic Executive Committee, citing that over the years they have attempted to gather opponents to run against him on the Democratic ticket.
He says that the Republicans didn’t offer a candidate to run against him for this upcoming election because, “they thought I was doing a great job. My ex-party, on the other hand, called up at least three potential candidates, two of which called me and said that they weren’t going to run because they like the work that I’ve been doing, but my executive committee went out and solicited someone to run against me. At least two of those folks also put up campaign signs in the primary, which is an ethics violation as they are supposed to be neutral in the primary, for the other candidate.”
“They’ve deserted me twice. I’m not going to let them do it a third time, I’m going to die as a Republican.”