Is the Fight Over Jackson GOP Club’s Mayoral Endorsement Going to Court?

A contentious meeting of the Jackson GOP Club on Wednesday night resulted in the club’s endorsement of Mayor Michael Reina for another 4-year term as mayor, but a court case could be brewing.

Prior to the meeting, Club President Todd Porter told the organization’s screening committee that no endorsements would be made for mayor due to the death of Assemblyman Ron Dancer. Because Mayor Reina could potentially jump into the race to succeed the late assemblyman, making an official endorsement at this point would be jumping the gun, Porter argued.

After the Club’s regular monthly proceedings, Porter attempted to adjourn the meeting, but was met with no support. Member Tzvi Herman then arose and made a motion for the Club to officially endorse Mike Reina for mayor. His motion was seconded by Rich Egan.

In a voice vote, a majority of Club members at the meeting voted in favor of the motion, thus making Reina the officially endorsed candidate of the Jackson GOP Club.

But that wasn’t the end.

Porter said the Club’s bylaws don’t allow candidate endorsements to come from the floor; rather, endorsements must first go through the Club’s screening committee and therefore the endorsement should be voided.

However, expert election attorney Tim Howes, brought to the meeting by members of the Jackson GOP Club, made it clear that Porter is wrong and that the Club’s bylaws don’t preclude endorsements coming from the floor.

Ignoring Howe’s statement, Porter again said the endorsement wasn’t legitimate and would not be recognized by the Club.

Tzvi Herman rose again and offered a motion to overrule President Porter; again his motion was seconded by Egan, and again, a supermajority voted to approve the motion, thus making Mike Reina the officially endorsed candidate for mayor.

However, being that the endorsement is being questioned, the entirety of the case could very well end up in court, with a judge making the final decision whether Reina’s endorsement by the Jackson GOP Club was legitimate or if it should be voided.

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