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LETTER: Dispensing with district drama

By Staff | Jun 10, 2016

Recently, I have been surprised by the drama and emotional rhetoric expressed in the articles and letters to the editor lambasting the District 14 Republican organization. I have been left wondering if this is the same District 14 that I have been a part of for more than 8 years as it has been far less “exciting” in my experience. As is usually the case, the facts are less dramatic than presented by those challenging our incumbent legislators in the upcoming primary. In an effort to minimize the drama, I will simply put forth the facts.

On March 13, 2016 the endorsing convention for District 14 Republicans was held in Rugby at which time Dennis Fred, Glenn Baltrusch and Albert Krueger as well as the incumbents from District 14 sought the endorsement of their party for one Senate and two House seats. Jon Nelson, Robin Weisz and Jerry Klein were endorsed. Subsequently, Fred, Baltrusch and Krueger collected petitions, filed and were placed on the June primary. While it is certainly the right of Fred to collect petitions to be placed on the primary ballot, the NDGOP expressed that it is inappropriate for Fred to lead the district while challenging the incumbent candidates who were nominated at the district convention, and he was encouraged to resign as District 14 Chairman. Fred voluntarily resigned his position on April 14, 2016, but failed to call a meeting of the executive committee to accept his resignation.

Over the course of the next 10 days, five members of the executive committee contacted Fred and Vice-Chairman Frueh and requested that a meeting be held to discuss filling the position of chairman. Neither Fred nor Frueh responded to those requests. Although District 14 by-laws are silent in regard to a course of action in the event a chairman fails to call a meeting, NDGOP by-laws state that an executive committee meeting can be held at the request of five members. A member-driven executive committee meeting was scheduled for May 6, 2016 and notice was sent to all members of the committee.

On May 6, 2016 the District 14 Republican executive committee met with 11 of 15 members present. Fred’s resignation was accepted and a new chairman elected. Business was conducted which included allocating District 14 money to the endorsed candidates to assist in the campaign for District 14 House and Senate seats.

Some could argue the finer points of what happened and will, but most Republicans in District 14 as well as the executive committee members are primarily interested in electing Republicans and carrying out the purposes and ideals of the party. While there may be drama and excitement in that at times, most days it is simply the work of the Republican Party.

Melissa Deckert,

District 14 Republican Chairman

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