In a statement provided to the Ocean State Current, Dr. Dan Harrop of Providence announces that he has decided to bring his campaign for chairman of the Rhode Island Republican Party to a close:
I am today withdrawing from the election contest for Chairman of the RI Republican Party.
While I understand some delegates intend to challenge the results of the vote from last week, based on various irregularities in the process, it is no longer my intention to pursue the Chairmanship.
I now intend to concentrate my public policy efforts through renewed emphasis on the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity, where I have served as the Founding Chairman since its inception, and in the Providence Republican City Committee, where I am Vice Chairman, as well as with the Rhode Island Republican Liberty Caucus, where I am the Treasurer and Past Chairman.
My term of office as Chairman of the RI Center for Freedom and Prosperity is due to end shortly, and a transition process has been in place for some six months, having begun well prior to the campaign for RI GOP Chairman. My successor will be announced shortly, but I intend to remain on the Center’s Board of Directors. I look forward to continuing my work there.
I especially want to thank all those who have supported me during the last three months.
Daniel S. Harrop, MD
Harrop met in East Providence tonight with his opponent, Mark Smiley, of Warren, and Cranston Republican Sean Gately, acting as moderator.
Harrop’s announcement comes the day after the party’s Credentials Committee rejected a complaint that he filed concerning possible irregularities in the voting when the State Central Committee met last Thursday, March 21. Smiley won that tally by a single vote, 94 to 93.
According to the Credentials Committee’s statement, “Absent any additional process between now and then,” outgoing chairman Mark Zaccaria “will declare the results of the original vote to be valid based on these findings” at a meeting of the State Central Committee, scheduled for next Tuesday, April 2.
In his complaint Harrop stressed that “the authority of the Credentials Committee under the Bylaws is limited to deciding contested delegations and does not include the authority to overturn or uphold the results of a contested election.”
The night of the close vote, Thursday, March 21, parliamentary authorities within the party declared the result invalid on the grounds that the number of votes cast outnumbered the people checked in by one. Nonetheless, Zaccaria subsequently issued a statement on Sunday saying that the phantom voter had been confirmed as eligible. Consequently, his press release said, “Chairman Smiley will take the gavel to conclude that meeting and to begin his official tenure” at the Tuesday, April 2, meeting.
The days that followed brought a stream of public and private attacks between the two sides, with elected Republican officials calling for the vote to be redone and anonymous attacks proliferating. In both his complaint to the Credentials Committee and in the comments to a post in which Patrick Laverty, of Anchor Rising, called on the factions to behave responsibly, Harrop condemned the attacks.
The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity is a state-based free-market think tank and the parent organization of the Ocean State Current. (Editorial management of the Current falls under the responsibilities of the Center’s research director, the author of this article.)
See here for details about the possible actions that Harrop’s action probably negates.
Featured image: Dan Harrop (left) and Mark Smiley (right).