GOP leader: Howard's departure was over candidate disputes
by Brian Anderson
banderson@annistonstar.com
Feb 07, 2014 | 2899 views |  0 comments | 42 42 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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The former chairman of the Calhoun County Republican Party resigned after state GOP officials investigated complaints of improper conduct, an official with the party said Friday.

Gene Howard, who stepped down as chairman of the local party on Feb. 1, denied the allegations. Bill Armistead, chairman of the Alabama Republican Party, said Howard’s resignation followed an investigation into complaints that Howard would not allow some candidates to qualify for local office with the Republican Party for the upcoming 2014 primaries.

Armistead said the state party did not ask Howard to resign.

“We have policies in place that say if you think someone shouldn’t be on the Republican ticket, because he’s a convicted felon, or doesn’t live in the district, or whatever reason, the state committee will look into that and make a decision,” Armistead said. “You can’t just arbitrarily decide that you won’t qualify someone, though.”

Armistead would not say how many complaints the state party received or what candidates Howard would not qualify.

Howard said Friday that the allegations against him were untrue.

“We qualified everyone they sent to us,” Howard said. “There is no dispute on that.”

Howard said his decision to resign was due to the investigation.

“I was just tired of dealing with the Armistead administration,” Howard said. “We have a great party, we did everything they asked us to do, and I just got tired of dealing with them.”

Calhoun County Republican Party co-chairman Tony Moreland is serving as acting chairman of the party until a replacement is appointed. Moreland declined to comment on the situation on Friday.

Staff writer Brian Anderson: 256-235-3546. On Twitter @BAnderson_Star.

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