Harrison County GOP chairman resigns citing Trump opposition
Robin Y. Richardson
Nov. 4, 2016 at 5:51 p.m.
MARSHALL — Harrison County Republican Party Chair Wes Brumit has resigned, saying he cannot support GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump.
The announcement took the executive committee of the county's Republican Party by surprise.
"In our last executive meeting, (Brumit) did share with us his views that he could not support Mr. Trump," said Wendell Jones, a member of the executive committee. "We all told him at that time we felt that was inappropriate for the (party) leader in our county, and, we would hope as he studies the issues that he would come to a different conclusion and support the party ticket from the top down."
Jones said the Harrison County Republican Party does not stand with Brumit's statements regarding Trump.
"We've been here supporting and calling, asking people to support the ticket from the top down," he said.
In a statement announcing his resignation, Brumit said he no longer can be affiliated with a party that "holds Donald Trump up as an example of its values and principles.
"I would be doing a disservice to the party and my executive committee by continuing in this capacity, when I have no confidence or respect for the man at the top of the ticket," he wrote. "To be clear, I will continue to fight for conservative ideals and values, but will do so through a different venue."
Brumit, who declined to comment beyond his statement, indicated he has no plans to support Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
He said he will be supporting and voting for Tom Hoefling, an Iowa resident and nominee of America's Party.
"His values, character and principles more closely exemplify my own," Brumit wrote of Hoefling. "To borrow a phrase from President (Ronald) Reagan, 'I am not leaving the GOP, the GOP left me.' "
Brumit said it's been his privilege to serve Harrison County Republicans as county chairman for the past three years; however, the past year has been a difficult political year for the nation.
"It has been very painful to watch the GOP come apart at the seams, as the primary process pitted Republican against Republican," he wrote. "The divide has been nationwide, and Harrison County was not spared from this division.
"Many, including those within our executive committee, have come to a different conclusion than I have," Brumit wrote. "I don not hold this against them and understand that they are doing as they feel they should.
"However, with much consideration and prayer, I have come to the conclusion that I cannot support Donald Trump as the Republican Party nominee for president," he wrote. "Mr. Trump has failed throughout his life to show he represents the ideas, values and principles that the GOP is founded upon."
Brumit said Trump is not a conservative in any sense of the word.
"He has not proposed one government program that he would abolish, or even make smaller," Brumit wrote. "He has espoused conflicting positions in this campaign on many issues, making it impossible to judge where he actually stands. In fact, he has said he 'could be anyone he wants', depending on the audience."
Brumit said he believes Trump more closely aligns with nationalist and populist ideologies than with conservative beliefs.
"Nationalist and populist ideologies are dangerous to a Republic such as ours," Brumit wrote. "They almost always lead to an authoritarian state."
Brumit additionally said he believes Trump's character is seriously flawed.
"As an elected leader within the GOP, I cannot defend his actions, words, or patterns of self-centeredness," he wrote. "He is an extreme narcissist and person who never feels the need to apologize, ask for forgiveness, or even repent for his behavior.
"In short, I fear Mr. Trump will destroy the Republican Party and its message," he wrote. "Further, the GOP will have only itself to blame if Mr. Trump loses this election. They have been complicit in the corruption that has angered so many Americans.
"As a national delegate to the Republican convention, I witnessed firsthand how the GOP squashed any attempt by conservatives to voice their opinion. Texas' own Toni Ann Dashiell, Steve Munisteri and Dan Patrick failed to fight for conservative views and rules that would have allowed other voices to be heard. They instead decided to side with (Republican National Committee) Chairman (Reince) Priebus and his establishment cronies. It seems to me, that there is no room for conservatives in the current GOP leadership."
Chad Sims, secretary treasurer of the Harrison GOP's executive committee and past party chairman, said the executive committee will have to meet soon to elect an interim leader or appoint someone to fulfill Brumit's unexpired term.
"I'm not sure when this will happen with the election so close," Sims said. "It's a busy time for us, obviously."