CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) – West Virginia’s Republican Party is embroiled in a firestorm of controversy. Former Wood County Republican Executive Chairman Rob Cornelius is filing a lawsuit Wednesday, asking the court to force the Secretary of State to reinstate him. Earlier this year, Cornelius was feuding with party chair Melody Potter and she removed him from office. He says that broke the law.
“She believes she has that power. In West Virginia State Law, quite simply, I was elected and my committee in Wood County was elected by actual voters. And You can’t annul an election, because Melody Potter had her feelings hurt,” said Rob Cornelius, Former Chairman Wood County Republicans.
Meanwhile, the Putnam County Republican Committee has become the fourth in the state to either call for Melody Potter’s resignation or issue a “no confidence” vote in her leadership. We asked Potter for an interview, but she has declined. Potter could lose her job.
“Obviously we’ve seen what happened in Kanawha County and Putnam County, and other places around the state. People don’t think her leadership is strong, and after the losses the party suffered in the statehouse and senate elections last year, I think people realize there has to be a change,” said Rob Cornelius, former Wood County GOP Chairman.
Cornelius has also been openly critical of Democrat-turned-Republican Governor Jim Justice.
The lawsuit aside, there could also be a real blow up in the State Republican Party when members meet for their annual summer meetings next week at the Greenbrier Resort.