Following defeat in all contested county races and all but one legislative contest, the Kitsap County Republican Party held its reorganization meeting, electing new leadership for the 2009-2010 cycle.
Chairperson Jack Hamilton previously announced his retirement and was replaced by Hamilton ally Sandy LaCelle. LaCelle, who was soundly defeated in her race against County Commissioner Steve Bauer, received the unanimous support of the body. Nathan Randall sought the Vice Chairmanship without opposition following candidate David Rhine's withdrawal from the race. The young Ron Paul organizer has ruffled feathers among the old guard and a number of attendees were visibly shaken when Rhine withdrew from the race. Randall is a go-getter who will be one to observe as the party struggles with its future direction.
Juliana McMahan returns as Secretary and Anetta Butler will serve as the Finance Director/ Fundraising Chairperson.
Long-time State Committeewoman Shirley Brown, who announced her retirement, nominated Judy Mentor Eagleson as her successor. Eagleson was challenged by another Ron Paul organizer, but won the support of a majority of the precinct committee officers. Ed Mitchell, a Port Orchard accountant and current Treasurer of the state GOP, will serve as State Committeeman, replacing Trent England. England is working full-time for the Evergreen Freedom Foundation in Olympia, which limits his ability to attend party functions.
Following the countywide election, the delegation broke into commissioner districts to elect 12 of the 15 executive board positions. The results were mixed with establishment-backed candidates and Ron Paul recruits dividing the lot.
The local GOP has once again reached a fork in the road and must decide if the party will adjust its direction to win elections or continue down the same road of defeat that has become commonplace for the past decade.