The divisions plaguing the state Republican Party played out locally last night after Kodiak’s GOP chairman Bob Brodie resigned his position to support Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s write-in campaign. KMXT’s Jacob Resneck was there and filed this report.
— (GOP) 3:51 "At a hastily … sharply divided. I’m Jacob Resneck."
At a hastily organized meeting of local Republican Party faithful it only took minutes for the fight to come out into the open. The division stems from incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s decision to go it alone as a write-in candidate after being defeated by the Tea Party’s darkhorse candidate Joe Miller.
Here’s party committee Chair Bob Brodie opening the 20-strong strategy meeting which was divided between Murkowski loyalists Miller backers.
That objection was registered by Ken Dunn who said the Tea Party offers a stark ideological choice for true conservatives.
That sentiment was echoed by fellow Tea Party supporter Kathleen Carlsen.
But longtime party activists like Dan Rohrer said he feared for the Tea Party’s effect on party unity and questioned Miller’s loyalty to the GOP.
As the hour wore on it was clear that Miller supporters well outnumbered Murkowski loyalists. It was then that chairman Brodie called for an ad-hoc straw poll. The results were stark: a dozen for Miller, just five for Murkowski.
Brodie had led the local party committee on and off for the past decade. His abrupt departure leaves him free to campaign for Murkowski and installs committee Vice Chair and Miller supporter Darlene Turner at the helm.
As the meeting broke up, Brodie told KMXT he’d planned to resign so he could have a free hand to support Murkowski.
The majority of Miller supporters filed out with polite handshakes. The half dozen Murkowski supporters stayed behind to swap stories and talk strategy. As the November election creeps nearer it’s clear that Murkowski’s bid to keep her seat has left the Kodiak GOP sharply divided.
I’m Jacob Resneck