Change could be on the way for the Frederick County Republican Central Committee.
Some members are readying to take action that could lead to the ouster of one of the elected members, a former chairwoman.
Republican officials in the county said some members of the committee want to remove JoeyLynn Hough, who Republican voters elected to the post in 2014.
Hough and the current chairman, Billy Shreve, have not always seen eye-to-eye during their terms.
Shreve, a county councilman, was also elected to the committee in 2014.
At the organization’s December meeting, new officers will be chosen. Shreve said he is not running for the post of chairman.
In December of last year, he took over the post from Hough, who’d held the position for a year.
But as early as next week, the committee is also considering passing new bylaws that would outline rules for removing or censuring a member.
Shreve dismissed the proposed change in bylaws as normal procedure.
“Through the course of time, we change things,” Shreve said. “... In general, the central committee, since I’ve been on it, has had turnover of about one person per year.”
“I don’t know everything or control everything” on the central committee, Shreve said.
Others felt the move was intended to target Hough.
Central committee member Michael Hill said some members of the committee are working together to get the bylaws approved with the goal to remove Hough.
“There are a lot of personal battles that have gone on for a long time,” Hill said, adding that the committee has generally been able to move past personality conflicts to focus on its work. “... I hope people can put aside their personal differences and work toward our shared goals.”
The proposed bylaws changes are the result of continued fallout following a Frederick News-Post article that outlined how the state Republican party had to step in earlier this election season to bail out the central committee after it became clear that plans to use the county committee’s money to support the Trump campaign would have violated campaign finance rules.
The county central committee made a $6,000 payment for sign materials that were to be printed with Trump’s campaign logo and was prepared to pay the printing costs, before the state party — which is registered with the Federal Elections Commission to make such an expense — stepped in.
Hough provided a written statement after being contacted by The Frederick News-Post.
“We were all elected by Republican voters to build and support the GOP. The last thing we need is petty juvenile infighting like the County Council,” Hough wrote. “I’m confident cooler heads will prevail and we will do what we should and rally around President Trump and GOP candidates.”
Del. Kathy Afzali, R-District 4, called for unity.
“The Republican party locally just lost every local race on the ballot and, instead of building the party, members of the local party are forming circular firing squads and attacking elected members,” Afzali said. “Billy should realize his antics on the council and in the committee are in part why people are so disgusted with Frederick County politics.”
Both Hough and Shreve are supporters of Donald Trump. Shreve was co-chair of the president-elect’s campaign committee in Frederick County. Hough was a Trump-sponsored delegate to the Republican National Convention this year.
JoeyLynn Hough is married to state Sen. Michael Hough, R-District 4.