The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update


March 8, 2014

Ken de la Bastide: Control of GOP at stake in public primary battle

The battle lines were clearly drawn between Russ Willis, chairman of the Madison County Republican Party, and Mike Gaskill.

At the Lincoln Club Dinner, Willis took aim directly at former county councilman Mike Gaskill. At stake is the control of the local party.

The two men have been trading jabs for the past few months and recently it has escalated to the point where every incumbent officeholder in the courthouse except one is being challenged for the party’s nomination in the primary election.

Through the website “Madison County Alert,” Gaskill has reportedly been taking shots at Willis and Anderson Mayor Kevin Smith on a regular basis.

As a result of the inner party squabble a new organization was created that is loosely affiliated with the Madison County Tea Party organization. The Reagan Club had its first meeting last week.

During his remarks — which took some Republicans by surprise because it aired the party’s dispute in public — Willis said it has been a tumultuous time for the party.

He referenced a Madison County Alert post about his chairmanship saying it was filled with outright lies, half-truths and falsehoods.

Willis said candidates running against the incumbents are not real Republicans or Tea Partiers.

“They are Gaskill party candidates,” Willis said. “As one mail piece in 2012 stated, these people give the Tea Party a bad name.

“The Gaskill Party and its candidates are not good for Madison County,” he added.

With the already public feud between Willis and Gaskill heating up, Republicans can expect to see lots of twists and turns between now and the May 6 primary election.

The biggest potential loser in the fight is Kelly Gaskill, who is being challenged by Micah Mitchell for the Madison County Treasurer’s nomination.

If the traditional GOP backs Mitchell and other candidates running against Gaskill supporters David McCartney and Rick Gardner, it could mark the end of a challenge to Willis’s control of the party.

Text Only
Featured Ads
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Obama: World Is Appalled by Murder of Journalist Israel, Militants Trade Fire After Talks Fail Pres. George W. Bush Takes Ice Bucket Challenge Pierce Brosnan's Call to Join the Expendables Changes Coming to No-Fly List Raw: IDF Footage Said to Show Airstrikes Police: Ferguson More Peaceful Raw: Aftermath of Airstrike in Gaza Raw: Thousands March on Pakistani Parliament Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan Fire Crews Tame Yosemite Fire Raw: Police Weapon Drawn Near Protesters, Media Raw: Explosions in Gaza As Airstrikes Resume Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape Texas Gov. Perry: Indictment 'a Political Act' US Officials: Video Shows American's Beheading Video Shows Ferguson Cop Months Before Shooting Water Bottles Recalled for Safety Researcher Testing On-Field Concussion Scanners

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Front page

Have you been to Mounds Mall to see the “Imagine Mounds Lake” display?

Yes, and it solidified my support
Yes, but I'm still opposed
     View Results